A Thread in the Cloth of Sisterhood
The Founder’s of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority were exceptional women. Frankly, anyone who dared to assemble together to increase the strength of individuals for the betterment of the community at that time, was exceptional. Each Founder represented a thread of values, ideals, principles, convictions and character that, when combined with the others created a sisterhood that has endured for almost 100 years.
Delta Sigma Theta, to me, is like a big beautiful quilt which is held together by the individual ‘threads’ that are the sorority sisters. Each of us contribute to her enhancement and longevity and in return, she gives us cohesion, solidarity, a pattern to follow, standards to uphold, comfort and all other things a physical quilt might. The quilt needs each thread to grow and thrive. Her splendor and beauty is made more apparent by each strand that weaves together and creates a new panel. The contribution of each thread varies in its unique talents, aspirations and circumstances. But, when brought together it changes the shape, color and outlook of things.
Like the Founder’s, we are all “Renaissance Women Called to Serve” using our individual talents for the betterment of ourselves, our families and our communities. When I think about that fact, the sense of personal responsibility to continue the legacy can be overwhelming. I challenge myself to demonstrate the principles of the sorority and of the oath that we pledge to uphold and execute. I make it my goal to always see myself as someone who would have been deemed fit to be counted amongst the Founders, regardless of the decade. Do I remain a brilliant, strong, un-frayed fiber in the cloth of those who had a vision and took their activism beyond the walls of Howard University into the world?
As Delta’s, we continue to have a blueprint of standards that we have and always will have access to. As an African American, female Mystery Author, I try to merge everyday with the tenacity and fearless confidence that the Founder’s displayed. There is a big difference between the challenges a civil rights activist faces and those that I face as a writer. Just as it may seem a far stretch to compare writing to Women’s Suffrage, it is equally ridiculous for any of us to hold back and not pursue what has been put in our heart to pursue. Expressing your God-given talents and desire is a form of service to the world.
As I complete my first novel, GENE KILL: CONCEPTION, and a memoir about being a caregiver to my mother with breast cancer called PINK RIBBON, PURPLE HEART (as well as several other works), I look to fellow authors and colleagues who’s thread of experience and expertise help me to develop my craft and to stay accountable to my dream and my readers. It is easy to think that what we have to contribute is not significant and won’t be missed if it is never brought to light. In reality, it is our duty to serve others in the many ways that we are uniquely capable. When we don’t pursue our dreams or fail to respond to a need, society is the poorer for it. As ‘Renaissance Women Called to Serve’, as threads in the Delta quilt, we have the opportunity to wrap ourselves in the quilt of our sisterhood as a reminder of our mission, our power and our destiny.
Continue to bob (adversity) and weave (those threads), my Sorors!
Soror Tanaiia Hall
About the author
Tanaiia Hall has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and received her MBA in Seoul, South Korea where she became familiar with Korean culture and the deployed military community. After graduating, Tanaiia traveled throughout Africa and Central America 98% of the year as an Auditor for an international relief organization. It was through that experience that she conceived of the idea to take her detailed journals of the places she had been (and some she had not) and to write novels by drawing loosely on those experiences. Family and friends encouraged her to write more as her description and voice grabbed her readers and left them wanting to hear more.
Tanaiia has taken creative writing courses and also enjoys reading, photography and fashion as creative outlets.
Tanaiia currently writes a blog on various topics and newsletters for an alumni organization and a small business. She is currently working on the sequel to her debut novel, Gene Kill: The Conception, which is a Milauna Porter mystery series and she has completed a draft of her memoir as a caregiver for her mother who passed away from breast cancer in 2008. She lives in Los Angeles with her turtle, Dexter.
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Ethel Carr Watson – was from Parkersburg, West Virginia. During the historic march for Women’s Suffrage in 1913, Mrs. Watson confided that her family told her not to participate. However, she was forced to defy the order because she was selected to hold the banner since she was the tallest. Ms. Watson pursued her teaching career over a period of thirty years. After retiring from the education field, she began a second career as a dramatic performer.