What I love most about being a contributing member of the Mahogany writing community is the camaraderie, empowerment, authenticity, and love that binds the sisterhood together. As a writer, oftentimes I’m required to write for a host of different audiences depending on which media outlet is requesting an article from me. It’s rare to be granted the opportunity to write to my people, for my people, and unto the Lord, without having to translate our faith, culture, and language. This has been a gift to me, as it coincides with the purposeful work that I do—apart from writing for this beautifully melanated community.
In her stirring poem about her dear friend Paul Robeson, the late, great Gwendolyn Brooks wrote:
…that we are each other’s
we are each other’s
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.
Gwendolyn taught us. Truly, we are our sisters’ keepers, and it’s in that spirit of sisterly love and affection that Truth’s Table was built. Over five years ago, I, Michelle Higgins, and Christina Edmondson decided to start Truth’s Table podcast, “a table built by Black women and for Black women.” We had no idea what we were getting into. Podcasting is a lot of work, y’all! Don’t let the cackles and Colgate smiles fool you.
We also did not know that Truth’s Table would become an award-winning podcast and trusted resource by those in and outside of the church—with a book deal from Penguin Random House to boot. How could we have known that? Only God knew that. All we knew at the time was that there was no Christian podcast with three Black women hosts covering important issues, like colorism, reparations, racism, dating—and a host of other topics in connection to the church—through a robust theological lens. What we knew was that our sisterhood and love for God predated the podcast, and that foundation would be the ground upon which Truth’s Table was built.
We have discovered differences and have grown in many ways over the six seasons of Truth’s Table, and our sistas at the table have grown in tandem with our personal growth—individually and collectively. Those differences in perspectives and politics may not have always been apparent on the show, but the cords of love kept us together all these years. That same love for one another is the foreground for our latest project, our upcoming book, Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life, Love, and Liberation.
Just as we have done on the show, we poured out our hearts on topics like divorce, marriage, singleness, Blackness, justice, forgiveness and so much more. You’ll laugh, cry, and sing along with all the song references in this book. It’s like we say in the introduction:
“We are raised church girls. We are churchwomen. We each have clergy roots. We each have scars and insights from higher education. We have headaches and heartaches. We each have our stories of becoming grown women. We also have the unique ways we understand and wrestle with the Christian tradition. We even reach different conclusions at times—maybe even more so in this book than you hear on the podcast. As you read our words, our musings on life, love, and liberation, we hope that you hear us each and appreciate your own voice even more along the way.”
One of the unique features of our book, besides the preponderance of Black women cited, is the musings section at the end. In the same way that we set the table for Black women to sit with us in their homes, with their children, or on their way to work, we invite Black women—our sistas at the table—to talk back to us by writing their own musings at the end of the book in response to our musings in the book.
True to our tagline, “midwives of culture for grace and truth,” we have always made truth-telling a priority. Telling the truth about society, the church, and ourselves because in the words of prophetess Ms. Lauryn Hill, “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?” On the show and in our book, we have done all the above while basking in the glory that is Black sisterhood.
Sis, you’re invited to pull up a chair and have a seat at the table with us! Kick your feet up and twist or wrap your hair as we share our musings, and get ready to share yours with us, too! We have much to learn from each other.
What are some of your musings about Black sisterhood?