Year Four: Beyond Flowers

Year Four: Beyond Flowers

The last Journey-Journal I produced was sub-titled “Come Get Your Flowers,” and now, as the latest version, the Brave Sis Perpetual Journal, is about to go into production for a Fall, 2023 shipment, it’s incredible to think back on these four years of Brave Sis Project. 

This blog is part of the larger platform, which offers history, learning, awareness, and sisterhood for BIPOC women and their friends. It has turned into my purpose in this world. I am so grateful.

Brave Sis Project has reached thousands of readers in at least eight countries, served dozens of foundations, social organizations, small businesses, and other groups, produced four editions of the world’s only combined guided journal and day-planner honoring Black and other BIPOC women in US history whose stories are too little known. It also feeds the work that I do in my day job as a Director of Impact and Equity, and my ethos as a community volunteer, and as an advisor and mentor.

photo of books displayed in gift shop

I’m so thrilled to have published my book in spring 2023 through Workman Press that has garnered sales and fans in five continents—even though the focus is on American women. I really do hope to someday soon write a book on World Brave Sis!

(my employer snapped my book on display at his local coffee shop in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. Sweeeet!)

In looking over these four years, I’m proud of how Brave Sis continues to elevate Black, Brown, Asian & Indigenous Foremothers and she-roes -- and in so doing, helps women across cultures and geographies build a practice of deeper awareness, self-care and pride. Clearly, in this work, there is something for everyone:

  • discovery and pride for Black and Brown women in discovering or remembering erased and/or little-known BIPOC women and reveling in our own legacy
  • recognition and celebration for the broader US—across cultures and ethnicities, as we learn that our stories and struggles are more interwoven than our faultily manufactured history lessons and mainstream, commercial (white-centered) culture avails to us
  • And importantly, a standing invitation and welcome for white women who join in the circle. I have always maintained that white women, big fans of Brave Sis, are the ones with the adjacency to white men. So, your awareness, understanding, and sisterhood is frankly, essential.

But I’m not going to sugar-coat the purpose in fireside-circle kumbaya. Of course, Brave Sis Project will continue to focus on pride, sisterhood, and celebration—but (and many of you have helped prod me in this direction) Brave Sis in Year Four is PREDICATED UPON an agreement to de-center the whiteness norm and abolish performative allyship once and for all.

And with that, I’m really excited to be introducing a new layer to Brave Sis Project: new content as well as learning opportunities and events (including book events) that will point all us Brave Sisses towards ways to truly embody the spirit of the Foremothers.

(Take note, all posts to Instagram automatically post on the homepage of this website, towards the footer.)

Based on the stories and lessons of the women we celebrate, we will be doing more work to confront and understand privilege, the ubiquity of whiteness, devaluation, and erasure. To be honest, these are the reasons why so many of the now over-550 women in my “Brave Sis database she-roes are not household names.

Celebration remains the order of the day, but the Foremothers are asking me to insert some more facts, interrogations, and mini-aha moments to move us closer to what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others called The Beloved Community: one that embraces and creates harmony among all in living together, a love which, as MLK said, “will bring about miracles,” and the vision that Fannie Lou Hamer may have been referring to when she uttered her famous words: Nobody’s Free Til Everybody’s Free.

For anyone who is new to Brave Sis, go to the Instagram feed and scroll down these past four years: there's a lot to discover!

Stay tuned, and thanks for you support and encouragement. 

Rozella Kennedy