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Cosmopolitan

BLACK SISTERHOOD IS HELPING WOMEN GET THROUGH THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY. My entire childhood, my family had one unspoken rule: Do not bother Mom during her Phone Time. Phone Time had no set dates, no standard length, but my brothers and I knew that when Mom was talking to her Black girlfriends—about their marriages, their careers, their “good old days”—we were to leave her alone.

Recently, when I stayed with her during the pandemic, I noticed Phone Time was still happening. Only now, the calls were even longer, more frequent, more urgent. Mom and her friends needed each other’s support more than ever. And this time, I got it. I completely did. Because in a country that’s reckoning with its anti-Blackness, relying on my Black sisters who also get it is the only way forward for me too.

In my case, it just took me a while to find them. I spent a lot of my life in white spaces where I was always “too” something. Too Black for my white classmates, too familiar in white environments for some Black classmates. The abuse I received from white middle school teachers and white students combined with rejection from my Black peers spiraled 11-year-old me into a depression. I spent every day learning how to express myself in a place with a narrow view of Blackness.

Once I left my mostly white hometown at 24, I glommed on to any powerful Black woman I came across, like Asia Mock, who now lives in Detroit and owns a multimedia company that uplifts Black people’s work. We met on my first day at a restaurant job—I was a host and she was a manager and server.

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