Fill Your Holes

Fill Your Holes

Now, If That Was A Black Person…

Tonight on “Now, If That Was A Black Person…”

A local dummy tries to open the exit door of an Amtrak train while en route to Chicago. A conductor races from another car like a linebacker in pursuit of a sack, startling passengers and screaming, “Get off the train!”

He yells again, “Get off the train.”

All eyes zoom-in on a tall, flushed face white man with a grey beard. The man is allowed to walk through the car, passed his seat/belongings to the next exit door—conductor still yelling, “No, who told you to open the door?!!” and then, “Go sit down.”

The man walks back to his seat in the middle of the car. The conductor addresses the train on the intercom to make it “undoubtedly clear” that there will not be any stops for smoke breaks.

I know what you’re thinking: All this commotion for a smoke break?

Another conductor of higher rank than the last comes and sits down near the man—who is still red in the face. The conductor asks the man if he is alright. They chat and chuckle more before the conductor tells them man, not to worry about it and gets up back to his other duties.

I wonder how differently this story would’ve played out if this man was Black.

Can you guess the race of the train conductors? Do you think race played a role in the ending?

—Sincerely, Tyra

P.S. Can you tell that I’m salty because they woke me up from some good sleep? 😒

P.S.S. Twenty minutes later the original conductor gets back on the intercom and addresses the passengers: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have a slight delay, so against my better judgement, I’m going to allow people to step off the train for a smoke break.” 😒😒

#ThisIsAmerica

Now, If That Was A Black Person…

Revolutionary Love, II

Dear Malcolm,

I want a Nat Turner–most days.

A man willing to die

for the causes,

someone who wrestles

with the flaws of justice.

I know that God wants

a shield for all of us.

But you, will always

be safe with me

until your insecurities

find obscurity.

And when that fire

is subdued, use me.

Let me rub your

temples ’til you feel

a tremor in your heart;

soak your needs in my wants,

read the Gospel or Qur’an,

and heed the hieroglyphs

until the Nubian Dynasty

is reborn here in The New World

or at least until the next

Chicago renaissance.

You are safe in my love.

If only you cover me;

I will cover us.

—Betty

(October 3, 2018)

Revolutionary Love, II

If You Lead, We’ll Follow

“Those who criticize this generation forget who raised us.”

In a conversation about leadership, I shared this photo of Mamie Till. A couple of my middle schoolers had no idea who she was, a few others didn’t understand why she made my list of leaders, and one student even said she was doing the most.

So this week, we watched a quick video about her struggle navigating America’s racism and the heinous murder of her son, Emmitt Till—who was very close to them in age.

They had so many questions. We talked about how strong she had to be to endure all of those years reliving this story for interviews. Then, we played a game to help them understand their own strengths in communication/delegation.

We rarely get second chances to change a person’s mind. This time I did simply because they are longing for a connection to the generation before them. They are thirsty for depictions of genuine leadership. They are hungry for more relatable teachers and information that enhances their strengths. My point is, we can’t fault children for not knowing or understanding our history if we aren’t intentionally teaching them the truth and how it connects to their current lives.

Just sharing,

–Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

#SlayTheDream #ChiPeaceProject

https://sincerelytyra.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/img_2782.mov

If You Lead, We’ll Follow

Your Life’s Purpose

If we’re being honest, the the real reason I go to work and church is to spend time with my youth.* They may not be my own babies and, of course, there are times when they get on my nerves (which I’m sure is a mutual sentiment for them some days, too). Nevertheless, my honest belief is that my life’s purpose is being carried out when I’m around teens and young adults. You may ask why, but in my eyes, it’s simple: I wish that as a teenager someone would have spent more time talking to me about things that I cared about.

I know many youth who are currently wishing someone would talk to them about the things that actually matter to them. I had a very interesting conversation with a group of youth today around everything from suicide to slavery to the most recent series of Chicago shootings. Many of them had close relatives who were victims of homicides or murder within the past two weeks. Although a few of them did not understand why other people commit suicide, I made sure to give them the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and they names of licensed staff members that they could talk to if they or their friends were struggling with suicidal thoughts, depression, or grief.**

Then, we ended up playing a game of Uno with a Twist. My youth at church know that I like to infuse games in our lessons, too. Its probably because I’m still young at heart. I can remember having family game nights with my mom are a close family friend when I was younger. That bonding time with genuine adults was fun, but it stopped in my teenage years–which is unfortunate since those are some of most formative years of our lives.

To fulfill my life’s purpose, I want to continually expose our youth to new experiences and new opportunities that will amplify the small voice in their head that tells them to #SlayTheDream; that they are destined for leadership, greatness, and service to their community. Honestly, I have yet to completely determine how to do that. However, I do know the first step is by showing them that someone cares about their well-being and is concerned with the things that concern them.

What is your life’s purpose? Do we share the same passion for youth development, advocacy, and organizing? Or do you think I am insane? Leave your honest comments in the box below! Remember to connect with me via social media, too!

Feeling blessed and favored…

–Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

*Outside of my responsibility to provide and bring peace to My Joy. Whereas my daughter is my first purpose, youth work is definitely my second purpose in life.*

**Let be clear: I am not a licensed staff member and do not sugar coat my abilities when it comes to talking about these topics. This was an unplanned conversation in which some of my young people gave me discussion questions that they wanted to discuss. My follow-up will be to bring in the qualified staff members to introduce themselves to my youth, just in case they need additional services in the future. If you or a young person is having thoughts of committing suicide, please direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. **

For more:

Facebook: facebook.com/sincerelytyra/

Instagram: @SincerelyTyra; https://instagram.com/p/Bnp7DixF9-Y/

Twitter: @TyTaughYou

Tumblr: @TeachUsSomethin’

 

Your Life’s Purpose

#SundayFunday

We went on a mission to see Shakespeare in the park and failed up with an extraordinary play date with some new friends, a photo shoot, and ice cream.* We were sharks, zombies, frogs with sharp teeth, and zappers (whatever that is). Oh, and I can’t forget–astronauts discovering new galaxies!

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Sometimes I look at My Joy and think about how much she’s grown up. I tell her all the time that she is not a baby anymore. But when didn’t want my help to climb the monkey bars, I think my eyes started sweating a little bit.

*Dear Joy Yee Noodle: you need to stop it with this contraption you call ice cream 😅. We had to have some fruit after this behemoth of S’mores goodness!

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #MyJoy #mine #thelife #wewere #astronauts #zombies #frogswithteeth #sharks #and #zappers 🤔 #whatever #that #is #sundayfunday #mom #momtings #daughter #chronicles #pingtompark #chicago

#SundayFunday

#ChiPeaceProject

So I’m at the monthly HIVE Meetup and to spark small group conversation, I’ve been asked 1) to share the 5th photo in my phone and 2) how I felt during the moment it was captured.

A1: Clearly, this is a screenshot (which means I stole it, but that’s another post for another day).

A2: I felt rather relieved that it WASN’T a candid shot with my mouth wide open, mid-sentence and that the photographer captured my youth at the height of our learning. We’ve been having really great and complex conversations all week about the ways in which ‘God Wants Us’ and the type of servant leaders we are all called to be. @QuinnChicago

During this morning’s Meetup, one of my colleagues elected me to share out for our group. So I talked about how my motivation for sharing the photos that I post is to combat the hate that we see in the world and promote more love (interpersonal and self-love) and peace.

Maybe I’m an idealist, but I honestly believe this type of intentionality in what we choose to share on our social media platforms could have a major impact on the way people choose to perceive our city, our network, our neighborhoods, and most importantly, Black youth.

We spend so much time capturing important moments on our phones these days. What’s the fifth photo in your photo library? If you share, tag me! I’d love to see your memory!

—SincerelyTyra 🖤

For more dope, peace-motivated content: http://www.SincerelyTyra.com.

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #ChicagoPeaceProject #ChiPeaceProject

#fivephotosback #hivechicagobuzz #sharing #socialmedia #peace #love #positivevibes

#ChiPeaceProject