We Asked These Women To Explain What Their Best Friends Mean To Them

Words: Victoria Sanusi
Images: Laura Gallant
Melissa says: “We met at school – our school was divided into two – and all I can remember was my friends saying, ‘You need to meet this girl called Natalie!’ We must have been about 12 then. I have no idea how they knew we would get on.” Seventeen years later, Natalie and Melissa are still the best of friends.

Natalie shares a pivotal moment in their friendship, one that led to the two of them starting their own business: “We swapped books once, at age 14 or 15. I gave Melissa The Color Purpleby Alice Walker.” She adds after a pause: “Has Melissa given me back my book yet?”

As the pair laugh, Melissa continues: “Actually, I found it the other day. But, on a serious note, we both love books and it’s so important to our friendship we decided to create the Black Girl Book Club.”
The book club, Natalie adds, is an extension of their friendship.

When they’re not reading, the pair enjoy travelling. Natalie says: “After I broke up with my boyfriend years ago, Melissa was like, ‘You need a holiday.’ She was really there for me. Next thing you know, we went to Côte d'Ivoire. It was so much fun – just like when we went to Ibiza.”

“There’s something about black sisterhood that's so unique,” Melissa says. “There’s a thread that ties us all as black women, whether it be lipstick or men. My relationship with Natalie is so strong and magical. Nothing can beat it.”

“It’s black love, it's everything,” Natalie adds. “Black sisterhood is such an integral part of black women's lives. Your sisters are your cheerleaders, agony aunts, your supporters, the ones who are dragging you up and keeping you up, especially being a black women in this country of racism and unconscious bias. You may feel like, what is the point? But your sisters push you when you get tired and understand your experience.”
Reflecting on her favourite things about her best pal, Natalie says: “Melissa is hilarious, and her banter is just amazing.” For Melissa, it’s Natalie’s determination that she admires: “Natalie always powers through, she knows what she wants to do and always finds a way. It’s so inspiring to be round someone like that.”
The pair love that because of their shared experiences they’re always on the same page. “I can tell Nats, ‘You need to bring me a comb’, and she already knows what comb to bring,” Melissa says. “I tell her ‘my edges’ and she already knows what I mean. It sounds so silly, but it’s so simple.”

Team Credits

Victoria Sanusi

  • Reporter, Buzzfeed UK
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  • BuzzFeed

    BuzzFeed

    • Digital Media

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Black Girl Book Club
#BGBOOKCLUBPRESENTS not just your common book club
Victoria Sanusi
Reporter, Buzzfeed UK