By Tanay Adams
It is a well-known fact Black women are indeed the greatest gift given to this planet. Nobody and nothing even comes close to us in any category you can name, and I’m not just saying this because I am a Black woman, but because I’ve experienced this truth for myself. When I reflect on the most significant people and moments within my life, Black women have always been present and were the ones that have intentionally loved, gathered, protected, and rebuilt me when I needed it. There isn’t a day that I am not thankful for the strong friendships I have made with the Black women in my life, and it is possibly the thing that has held me together in my most vulnerable moments.
I met my best friend, a Black woman and proud Leo, in college during the most tumultuous year of both of our lives. I met her while working at our university’s writing center. For the first year of me knowing her, our relationship was just tutor and student, and it wasn’t until I returned from my study abroad, a semester later, that we truly became best friends. I had lost my car, moved out of my apartment and onto campus with horrible roommates, and split with a friend I had enrolled with from high school, so I was not in the best place. She saw me eating on campus alone and invited me back to her dorm because she would cook some real food and later take me to my first university basketball game. We never made it to the game because we spent the rest of the night talking, eating, and truly getting to know each other; I then moved into her dorm room a week later and used mine as storage for the rest of the year (sorry mom and dad). She picked me up from class and taught me how to create budgets, and I edited her papers and made her pasta for dinner.
We celebrate each other’s birthdays like their national holidays, and we dream, support, and challenge one another because we trust each other fully. There is no competition, malice, or negativity between us because we always want to see each other win, believing in the “whole squad eats” rule. My relationship with her and other Black women in my life are the healthiest relationships in my life, and I feel secure because their Black woman love matches my energy. I don’t experience feelings of being too much, too little, not enough, or misunderstood when I am with Black women, and not having to explain yourself is a luxury Black women often don’t get. I never feel like I’m giving more than what I’m receiving in these relationships, and I am constantly extended the grace I need without begging for it. The comfort I have found within my relationships with Black women has shown me not to take the title of friend lightly and how to be a better friend to myself.
It is so frustrating to see unhealthy relationships between Black women often portrayed in media or real-life amongst our loved ones. The cheat code for Black women’s survival is to be in a community with each other as soon as possible. With this, I do acknowledge that often, a lot of trauma happens around the Black women in our lives as we’re raised, but I do think healing and addressing this trauma is essential for the emotional and mental health of Black women. Growing up and witnessing tension between our mothers and the Black women in their lives, whether it be their mother, sisters, or friends, and being taught to not trust other Black women with our dreams, men, or feelings; all contribute to creating discord and distrust between you and the only people on this planet who understand you. That is a lonely place to be as a Black woman, and you deserve to experience what it feels like to be loved by someone as divine as you, especially during these times. It is because of this that I am forever thankful for the Black women and femmes that I get to be in community with; who choose to love me every morning with the energy of a thousand suns because they believe I’m worth it, and I think they’re worth it too. To all of my girls, I love you truly.
Tanay M.A. is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tanay’s passions lie in holistic education and creative/poetry writing; both are heavily influenced by her love of Black Women, and her love of creation. You can follow her on Instagram @theamazingtanayzing