Monday, March 10, 2014

The Sisterhood: Setting the Record Straight

Welcome to the inaugural post on my new blog:  “Board Matters:  the Politics of Education”, a commentary on the issues of the Buffalo Board of Education that matter.  The campaign season leading up to the election to fill three seats on the Board this May has just begun and it appears that there will be a crowded field of candidates (11 at last count) and a plethora of issues to discuss/debate.

If you notice the Blog owner’s profile, it references the GTM Sisterhood.  I decided to keep that profile, with a few modifications because it is a fitting representation of the true definition of a “sisterhood”.  It contradicts the meaning that one Buffalo Board member wants to ascribe to African American women on the Board and staff.  He uses the term to convey his contempt for this group of Black women, and to label us as incompetent, seeking undeserved status, negative, destructive, clandestine and irresponsible.  He tries to mask his use of “the sisterhood” by claiming that this is the reference we make to ourselves.   However, he means the term to be demeaning and derogatory. 

Historically and presently, the “sisterhood” describes the tradition of black women banding together, formally or informally, to create agency (self-help), advocacy and service to members of the community (theirs as well as the community in general).  Members of the “sisterhood” are leaders but also understand the power of “strength in numbers”, so they collaborate and coalesce. 

So, when you understand the true meaning of the “sisterhood”, you understand why we embrace that descriptor, celebrate it and proudly call ourselves, members!

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