It’s that time of the year when Americans salute the achievements and sacrifices of sisters, mothers, grandmothers and even school-age girls — Women’s History Month.
But for Quad Webb Lunceford, Syleena Johnson, Rashan Ali and Trina Braxton, the dynamic quartet of “sistahs” who co-host the on-air daily talk show “Sister Circle Live,” the obstacles and fears which women, particularly African Americans, face and often overcome each day, gives reasons to applaud the perseverance and ingenuity of women 365 days a year.
Produced by TEGNA, Inc. and TV One, the show will mark its third anniversary this year in September. And while the configuration of its four female hosts has changed since the show’s debut in September 2017, the focus has remained the same — providing a gathering place on TV for women seeking inspiration, information, entertainment and empowerment.
During a recent interview with The Washington Informer, the talented tandem illustrated one of the more obvious reasons for the show’s growing success: a cohesiveness shared by the foursome which compliments their individual similarities and differences.
“It can be challenging to come up with the right combination of co-hosts but ours works well for us — we’re real friends even outside of “Sister Circle,” so we always have a good time when we’re together,” Quad said. “In fact, when the production team first began holding auditions in Atlanta in 2016 (still, the show’s home base), the concept was for this to be a one-woman, local show. But we all tested well, we had different backgrounds and we filled different types of roles. In the end, it was the combination of our personalities that sold them on changing the format to four co-hosts,” Quad said.
The newest addition to the show, Trina Braxton, while used to a life replete with lights and cameras as a member of the talented Braxton family, says joining a team like the “Sister Circle” group, has long been one of her greatest desires.
“I’m really happy to be here — it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Trina said. “It’s really special because now I’m part of a group of women who are all entrepreneurs, brilliant and able to empower anyone. They do their job and they do it well.”
Far from covering themes considered as easily-palatable, the co-hosts say they relish the opportunity to launch discussions and share their opinions on more controversial, often avoided topics ranging from race relations and raising a family to maintaining friendships, managing money and maneuvering delicate issues of love.
“When we have stories that might discourage our viewers, we always end with a message of inspiration because we want them to be even more encouraged to press on,” Rashan said. “We always keep things on the upswing. Sometimes it’s possible to make tough subjects more palatable but not always. Either way, our conversations are family talks among ourselves — sometimes you have to go through the pain.”
The co-hosts collectively agree that they eagerly await each day when they’re able to other women, sharing the belief that when women gather for girl talk, they’re usually more willing than men to reveal their vulnerability while also holding one another accountable.
“Women are different in many other ways too,” Rashan said. “We know that. Still, we want men to know that while our focus is first our sisters, we have something for our brothers as well.”
“If a brother wants to understand a woman better, he might want to watch us. We have candid conversations and the four of us share our own life experiences — some joyful, others painful. And we’re willing to ask questions and confront issues that a lot of men and women are afraid to raise,” Rashan said.
As our conversation ended, we talked about how each woman’s relationship with their father impacted their lives, the support each said they always received from their dads and why they believe many relationships fail.
“Far too often, our men show a lack of respect and appreciation for women,” Quad said. “They don’t know how to inspire or empower the women in their lives. There are times when women can sense that a train wreck is about to happen and because it will impact the entire family, we feel compelled to step in — to have our say. But some men still believe that they always know best and don’t want to listen to a woman. Maybe some men look at a woman like she’s disposable.”
“We want to help women who may doubt themselves, to realize that we [women] have tremendous power within us,” the four concluded. “But we’ve got to realize that. We have to claim our power — and we should never allow anyone, including the men we love, to make us think differently.”