Sistah Boom is a women’s samba marching band that has been showing up in the streets at Bay Area demonstrations for 40 years – bringing power, energy, and spirit. Founded by master drummer Carolyn Brandy in 1981, the story of Sistah Boom is one of women’s empowerment, queer liberation, and marching for social justice. It’s also a story of women breaking taboos and finding collective joy.
This sound-rich documentary chronicles not just the band, but the four decades of social movements the band took part in: the Pride Marches, the Gay Olympic Games, the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, AIDS activism and the Names Project Quilt, the Occupy Movement, the Women’s Marches, same-sex marriage celebrations, and demonstrations against ICE incarceration. One section covers the internal work the band did participating in Unlearning Racism training, still so relevant today.
I joined the band in 1984. It’s still going strong today!