In this thought-provoking and heartfelt book, Paula Dannielle presents Dear Sister: There's Something Black Women Want You to Know, a powerful collection of eight letters that amplify the voices and experiences of Black women.
Tackling topics covering their experiences, including identity, beauty standards, relationships, mental health, career challenges, and societal expectations, Dannielle weaves personal anecdotes, survey responses, and cultural insights to create a tapestry of narratives that fosters understanding and promotes dialogue.
Whether you are a sistah, sister, friend, or ally, with warmth, compassion, and unflinching honesty, Dear Sister provides a safe and welcoming space for open and honest conversations, inviting readers to listen, learn, and empathize with the lived experiences of Black women.
In a world that is characterized by division
In a country with a history of hatred and greed
Women have a part to play in healing what we inherited.
Our story does not begin at 1619
But 1619 further contaminated the story.
We were created to live above racism
To create opportunities for healing
And build communities of shalom
That starts by listening to the voices
that history has silenced.
So we are amplifying the voices of
because there is something
we want you all to know
Not just knowing for knowing sake
But so that you can take these topics
and master four critical skills
to heal the brokenness history created
and help establish God's Kingdom on Earth
Like God intended
So Dear Sister, Come LIS'N!
Here are some things Black women want you to know
We Want You To Know...
Too often, the voices of the marginalized go unheard. Black Women are what is known as the "double minority" - meaning we don't just deal with the silencing of one part of who we are, but society often tries to silence all of who we are. We need our other sisters to listen to our stories that too often go unheard because they are silenced. Because learning the posture to listen matters
Sometimes it is hard to embark on this work because it feels unsafe. But what if reconciliation is not about being safe? What if reconciliation takes us being willing to be brave? What if reconciliation takes fortitude to move forward when it is safer just to stay where we are? Fortitude - the strength to address the uncomfortable - matters if we're ever going to have relationships that matter to God.
There's an old proverb that was made popular by Chinua Achebe that says, "until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." Black women have a truth about our history and our story that we want you to hear. The history matters. The stories matter. The statistics matter. And we're ready to talk about it. Because telling the truth matters.
When one of us is hurting, none of us are thriving. At least not as much as we could be. We are - in the words of Dr.Martin Luke King, Jr. - caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Your Black sisters matter. And YOU matter. No matter your race, it is going to take all of us to overcome racism. Your voice, your heart, and your hands matter.
While Learning About...
Black Women surveyed from all across the States contributed to over 500 statements about our experiences, our families, our professions, and more. We've taken those answers and put them into five large topics that we will discuss during the workshop. Statements like...
Racism is still very much alive!
Microaggressions are like tiny paper cuts. They sting. And after awhile, they add up.
We do not see you as enemies but we would appreciate you being an ally.
We love our families
(our men and children)
as much as you do.
Learn the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation
If you have never done the work to gain my trust, I refuse to trust your judgment!
There is not a single day that goes by that I’m not forced to think about being a black woman in America. I do not have the option of “colorblindness!"
There are cultural differences and simply asking me to assimilate into your culture is not enough to make me feel accepted.