The sisterhood bond that comes from Black sororities doesn’t start on the yard and end at graduation — it’s a lifetime commitment that could have your 55-year-old auntie running for president of the Baton Rouge alumnae chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) or making plans to link up with her line sisters for their anniversary.
In the latest episode of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, the hosts dive into this sisterhood with screenwriter, producer, and showrunner extraordinaire Mara Brock Akil, who is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the mastermind behind the hit comedy sitcom Girlfriends.
“Black sisterhood is synonymous with sustenance," says Danielle Cadet, managing editor of Unbothered, host of Go Off, Sis, and an AKA. "I would not exist without it. There would be no me without the sisterhood that exists within Black women.”
This sentiment can be seen onscreen through the many characters Akil has dreamed up over the years. These personas, she explains, were created so that Black women could see themselves represented on TV. "I wanted Black women to be seen as human, to be seen as beautiful. I wanted them to be seen,” she says. “I'm always going to remind you how smart, multifaceted, strong, and resilient we are.”
In this episode, Akil and the hosts (members of the "U Phi U" sorority, as coined by Cadet) go on to discuss the reality of living up to sisterhood legacies, the battle between positive versus realistic portrayals of Black women onscreen, and the elbow grease required to flaunt the Black Girl Magic hashtag. For more sisterhood kiki, listen to the full episode, below.