Natural Bonds

Natural Bonds
Natural Bonds

The Black Girls’ Society reaches across School divisions to create community and pride.

The Upper School’s Black Girls’ Society (BGS) had a busy Black History Month. They celebrated Black hair, wrote cards to Lower School girls, and forged sisterhoods between Middle Schoolers and Upper Schoolers. All of their efforts create a positive community for Black girls at Sidwell Friends and instill confidence in girls across the School’s divisions. “BGS not only hopes to make Sidwell more comfortable for high school Black girls,” says Graciana Kabwe ’26, one of eight BGS leaders, “but for our Middle and Lower Schoolers as well.” 

One way of doing that is to encourage students to take pride in their natural hair. “A common misconception about Black hair is that it is an obstacle,” says Kabwe. “There’s a notion that natural Black hair needs to be tamed, altered, or worn a certain way for it to be presentable or acceptable. Black hair is perfect in its natural state, and while of course there is always the option to change it and enjoy its versatility, we should continue to normalize natural hair and embrace its beauty.” That natural beauty is personal for Kabwe, who says it would have been helpful to have had older Black girls to connect with when she was coming to terms with her own hair.

That’s where the BGS Chase Sisters program, named in honor of the late Brittany Chase, comes in. The Chase Sisters initiative matches younger students with older ones to forge connections across divisions at a delicate time of life and to help forge sister-like friendships between Middle and Upper Schoolers. It is important for Middle Schoolers to have such an outlet because our self-image around that age often carries into high school and beyond,” says Kabwe. “We want to bring the Middle Schoolers the guidance that we would have wanted in the past.”


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