Sister is a Verb: Clarifications from the Sistorians

20 09 2013

Toni Cade and books

This week during the third session of the first ever Brilliance Remastered Sistorian Webinar we talked about the hard work of sistering, how it causes us to grow, how sometimes it takes us apart and puts us back together.  We read Audre Lorde’s essay “Eye to Eye: Black Women Hatred and Anger” and talked about how institutional oppression and trauma continually challenge our ability to believe that we are “enough” to love each other and ourselves.   We find ourselves repeatedly challenged by the work of sistering, but Toni Cade Bambara says “sister is a verb” and it is what we do.  After a collectively challenging week that has tested our health, our relationships, our spirits and our resolve we put together this clarification about sistering that displaces “sister” as a simple name and deepens our understanding of sistering as an intentional practice.

Sister is a Verb

After Toni Cade Bambara

By the Sistorian Webinar Participants


sistering is NOT for the faint of heart


sistering is painful

sistering makes me want to run and hide.

sistering is a constant hide and seek where searching is a necessity

sistering is not-who-i-thought-i-was vulnerability

sistering can be exhausting

sistering brings up all my anxiety

sistering is wake up in the middle of the night work

sistering is giving what i think i don’t have towards a future i’m still learning to deserve

sistering is having no clue and being willing to learn and listen

sistering is owning that sometimes all you can do is sit with and listen

sistering is not being afraid to reach out again and again for what you need

sistering is an opportunity to be reborn


sistering is about being together and also about spending time with yourself.

sistering takes practice, but it doesn’t get easier

sistering demands selflessness… sometimes when I most want to be wrapped in myself!!!!

loving yourself…through the hard you can be kind on the next

sistering is nurturing and love and hugs and taking time out to be with another

sistering is about listening and remembering.

sistering means believing that there is some way to say/show what i mean and be heard

(even if it doesnt work the first time)

sistering is about TRYING.


sistering is slow sometimes

sistering is overwhelming fast sometimes

sistering is slumber parties and indulging the girl inside you

sistering is just typing “girrrrrrrrrrrrl…” sometimes… and she already knows what you mean


sistering saves lives


sistering is a technology we are supposed to forget

sistering is deep love

sistering is about showing up.

sistering is about showing out sometimes too

sistering is conscious

sistering affirms

sistering is about telling Black women they are beautiful

(there are enough compliments and adoration to go around)

sistering is salvation earned and gifted

sistering is transformative generosity

sistering is knowing you are infinite and if you share yourself…there is nothing to lose

sistering means you have to do the work of loving yourself and believing in your greatness


sistering is what we do


Are you looking for a transformative space for community accountable intellectuals?  Sign up today for the Bright Black Webinar which will convene at 7pm ET every Tuesday in October.  Sign up closes on September 27th.



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