Our Sisters Keeper
“I need help,” I opened with. It was a small group chat I created with a handful of trusted Black women, all of whom had played a major role in raising immediate funds for Black women who had gone through a financial crisis. I explained that a dear friend of mine (and theirs as well) was facing eviction, car repossession, and becoming financially incapable of caring for her elderly mother. She needed a large sum of money in a short amount of time and the odds were not in her favor. The only thing she had going for her was Sisterhood, and she didn’t have a chance of climbing out of this crisis without it.
While sitting on a Greyhound bus heading to D.C. for the March for Black Women, I read the suggestions of the Sisters in the group chat. They shared ideas on how to best amplify this timely cause while respecting the discretion of the Sister in need who wished to remain anonymous. We created a PayPal pool and each of us spread the words through our respected social media outlets. Our friend needed $1,995 immediately.
Within seventy-two hours, her goal was exceeded.
Asking for help isn’t easy for Black women, and receiving it is even harder. While my friends and I have come up with radical ways to provide anything from financial aide to emotional assistance, we’re not the only Black women who do this. I’ve seen women raise transportation fare for one Black woman to travel to another town and accompany a woman she’s never met to Planned Parenthood. It was community organizing and social media fundraising that covered Chikesia Clemons legal fees when she was unlawfully incarcerated and physically assaulted by police in an Alabama Waffle House. If it weren’t for community fundraising I never would have attended the National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers University, or hear Roxane Gay speak at the New York City Public Library.
We. Are. All. We. Got.
When my friend, a woman who has taught me the much of what I know about the radical act of loving and caring for Black women, recently confided that she herself was in a financial crisis, our Circle of Sisters stepped into action. Those of us who have, give. Those of us who have platforms, amplify. All of us contribute however we can. We don’t do trauma porn, so there is never a song and dance required of Black woman who, usually, had to force herself to lead with those three words, “I need help.”
So, the next time you see a post asking for contribution towards a GoFundMe or PayPal goal for a Black woman, donate, share, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.