Single-Minded: Growing Up Is Hard To Do
From the Nubian Sisters to the Deltas to being on your own.
A few semesters later, we pledged a sorority together, senior year we argued over my allergic reaction to washing dishes, and as full-grown grown-ups we both moved to D.C. to start our careers with a capital C. "You two are so gay for each other," joked friends of a lesser scale. Friends who didn't understand that we were each other's security blankets, or maybe scratching posts.
Exactly 10 years ago this week marks the day that we put on our white dresses and became sisters. That was also the day we made our other line sisterChinyere--cool. Made her part of the black girls' club we'd joined ourselves so many years before, sealed together like Mormon wives. Because eventually everyone joined the club, grabbed a mask, and walked around like their feet and the ground didn't mix. We were playing being grown-up. Maybe Chinyere, who took her own life two years ago, knew the truth. Maybe she was the only one not playing.
Tigers prefer to work alone. They favor solitary moments over chaotic ones. But let a "grown and sexy" Thursday night at Club Doesn't Matter tell it and untamed black girls thrive in groups. Or at least they think they do. Because the group can carry with it a certain party line, a half truth about who you are by means of who you identify with. I was once a Nubian Sister, then a Delta, and now a single black woman. With each of those epithets comes a particular attitude on autopilot that can be dangerous when left on for too long. So in the year of Tiger, the year of "girl breakup" and the year of my 30th birthday, my life is less about the safety in numbers than it is about stepping out into my own.
Helena Andrews is a regular contributor to The Root. Her book, Bitch Is The New Black, will be released this summer. Follow her on Twitter.