Why I Love Being Friends with Black Women4/29/2014
by Amber Wright With all of the drink throwing, hair pulling, cursing and childlike yelling done...
by Amber Wright
With all of the drink throwing, hair pulling, cursing and childlike yelling done by the casts of most of the non-scripted cable television shows featuring Black women, it’s no wonder that people still don’t believe that Black women can get along with each other. It has long been thought that we have a “crabs-in-a-barrel” mentality that prevents us from lifting our sisters up when they need a hand or championing them toward success without feeling jealous or envious.
Don’t get me wrong – I know for a fact all of that definitely happens every day to some people. But it’s not something I believe to be exclusively germane to Black women. Women from every race and culture have their fair share of drama when it comes to managing interpersonal relationships with one another. We are not the only ones!
The truth (at least my truth) is that not only can Black women get along, we help each other soar.
When I survey the relationships I have with Black women, both online and in real life, my heart is consistently refreshed and encouraged. As I have gotten older, my circle of friends has certainly gotten smaller; yet, I have enjoyed an increase in the level of the quality of relationships I have with my friends.
Take the internet, for example. I’m in a few groups on Facebook where Black women are the majority. Daily I see these women supporting each other’s blogs, sharing insightful tips and strategies for success, and offering advice on life, love, and business. It’s truly a beautiful thing to witness! Many times that support evolves from keyboards to coffee tables, as more formidable connections and relationships start to emerge. We meet up for events, network and collaborate to do what we can to see each other shine. This kind of positivity is what I like to focus on having in my life – instead of focusing on these imaginary haters I see so many people posting about in their status updates.
Offline, I find that I have no shortage of women to talk to that are willing to pray for me, let me cry when I’m sad, or vent when I’m angry. I’m fortunate to have a circle of Black women surrounding me that reflect the complexity of my womanhood. I’m a wife, a mother, a teacher, and entrepreneur. Wearing that many hats calls for a need of support in different ways – and each of my closest ways offers that to me in her own way. I reciprocate that love without hesitation.
My friends challenge me to become a better person and inspire me to keep pushing toward success. When I win, they win and vice versa. It’s as simple as that. They call me out when I’m wrong and lift me up when I’m down. We operate from a place of mutual love and respect for each other. To me, that’s what real relationships are all about.
My point here is not solely to gush over these wonderful women, but to highlight the reality that many of us out here do have quality relationships that are supportive and healthy. Not all of us are out here fussin’, cussin’ and throwing punches at each other.
Authentic relationships take time to develop, but when you get there, it can be amazing.
What we see on television is contrived and not a true depiction of how beautiful it can be when Black women come together and truly ride for one another. With so much negativity in front of us, I choose to celebrate the positivity I see around me on a daily basis that involves my beautiful Black sisters.
Amber L. Wright, M.A. is an adjunct professor, writer, communication coach and creator of TalktoAmber.com. Her personal mission is to teach you how to hear and be heard in every area of your life - from the boardroom to the bedroom. Wright’s areas of interest and expertise are in communication, relationships, marriage and popular culture.