Where is the Black Sisterhood in Detroit?

Local blogger Patrice Kofa explores the often love-hate relationship between two African-American women

o say that sisterhood is a novelty these days is an understatement.

The bonds of sisterhood once represented loyalty, sacrifice, respect, compassion, grace and friendship. True friendships were nurtured, and women stood in solidarity regardless of their point of views or walks of life-all in the name of sisterhood.

With that said, gone are the days when women prided themselves on solidarity, gracefulness and self-respect.

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At a time when gracefulness and true friendship are regarded as a thing of the past, discourteousness combined with an excessive need for attention has become the moral trend. As a matter of fact, this sort of ill-mannered behavior is celebrated and even expected in some social circles.

I'll give you an example: After a long day of shopping, I hit a restaurant around the corner from the mall to grab a bite. I sat at the bar next to a few seemingly lovely ladies and started making small talk. Everything was normal until a couple of well-dressed women came in, and one of my new acquaintances signaled them over. They appeared to have been friends, or at least, acquaintances. But it wasn't long before the conversation became loud (even above the roar of the restaurant) and heated, with all the cliché finger wagging and head jerking of an "angry Black woman."

The restaurant patrons and employees just went about their business as usual. For a minute, I thought I was in a twilight zone. What happened to the days when women looked out for each other and cared about how people perceived them in public?

We have scooped to the level where our rudeness and antagonistic manners aren't just reserved for our rivals; instead we display the same inconsideration towards family and friends alike. Which brings me to wonder if our choices in TV programs, especially reality shows, have anything to do with this unladylike behavior?

Sisterhood has deteriorated so much so that the word friendship has been reduced to "acquaintance." And kindness, which goes hand-in-hand with friendship, is often received with hesitance and suspicion, or even worse, misinterpreted as ulterior motive.

Remember, reality stars get paid to act unruly. So if we as sisters are taking our interpersonal and social cues from the reality TV girls, then we're in a lot more trouble as Black women and as a people whether we care to admit it, or not.

A classy lady never fights in public-whether verbally or physically. Raising your voice in public about frivolous things doesn't make you look tough. It makes you look like a "hood rat" who by chance ventured into the better side of town. It's unladylike and as cheap as a pair of plastic shoes.

Gossiping is just as cheap, and as tacky as a fake Louis Vuitton bag. A classy lady will never participate in such behavior especially with people she barely knows. You should always strive to elevate others and if you can't do that, then don't say anything at all.

In my opinion, there's no higher road to take than ignoring rude and insensitive people. Never dignify rudeness with your attention and never let anyone, friend or foe, make you lose your dignity in public.

Keep in mind: To have a true friend, you must be a true friend. That means supporting your friends, letting go of the pettiness and forgiving. Render help even when you don't feel like it. Only then will two friends become a sisterhood.

PATRICE KOFA IS A WRITER, SUPERMOM AND RELATIONSHIP /LIFESTYLE ENTHUSIAST. SHE LIVES IN METRO DETROIT WITH HER DAUGHTER.

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