Be proud to be who you are.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of this column/blog. A year ago I couldn’t have imagined how much I would learn or how much I would enjoy sharing with you all. For me, it has been a cathartic experience. It has also been cathartic for all of my sister-friends who have graciously allowed me to share their lives with you. We hope that our stories of love, life and relationships have helped in you some way. At least evoking a laugh here and there.
To celebrate, I decided to publish an updated version of my very first column, “Why I’m Every Girl’s Best Friend!” One thing I learned over this year is that these are universal stories that touch not just black women or even just women; for that, I am extremely grateful. Cheers to another great year! Thank you for reading.
I love black women! Particularly, I love strong, intelligent and loving black women. I guess you can say that I get it from my mother, the epitome of all of those wonderful, albeit somewhat cliché adjectives. The truth can become cliché at times, but the truth it remains.
My television show, Leading Women (formerly Real Life Divas), tells the triumphs and adversities of famous African-American women such as Dr. Maya Angelou, Susan Taylor, Iman, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Jill Scott and Yolanda Adams, to name a few. In too many instances, mainstream media overlooks the women profiled on my show despite their numerous accomplishments, global contributions and rich stories. As a people we know that we must celebrate us for us, which is why Essence remains necessary even as we assimilate and acculturate more into white society and culture. And yes, even when we have a black President.
My love for my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts and cousins translated into a love for my sisters. “Sisters” does not refer to my biological sisters - I’m an only child - nor does it reference the colloquial my “sistas” attached to women of African descent. For me, sisters refers to the women in my life who have over time and experience turned our friendships into relationships thicker than blood and deeper than mere ancestry; as Dr. Angelou says, these are my “sister-friends.”
I have been fortunate to build a bond with some of the fiercest and “baddest” women out there. They are truly my family - my sisters - and they are diverse in every way possible. Some I’ve known for almost 36 years. Others for a year. Some are housewives. Some are corporate moguls. Others are artists and comedians. Whatever their titles are they all share one thing (besides me) and that is their commitment to being excellent; mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends and lovers.
Hopefully, you will [continue to] laugh and [continue to] be able to apply something to your life. Most importantly, it’s about celebrating my strong, intelligent, and loving black women (and all women). It’s about celebrating YOU!
And hopefully the things I’ve said to Andrea, Danielle, La, Marja, Erica, Brandi, Raquel, and my momma too, will resonate as well as inspire, uplift and enlighten you. It [has been a blast so far] and I look forward to all of your feedback and comments. And [after this year], you now have a new best friend…that you don’t have to call or send gifts.
Wishing you LOVE & CEASELESS JOY! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.