Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us

Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us

Good morning Family!

I pray that you are all healthy, happy, and adhering to the Shelter-in-Place guidelines in your area. #StayAtHome (as much as possible).

There has been so many movement-building moments happening in the past couple of weeks. I have been participating in marches, reading up on the Black Panthers and Toni Morrison, researching how some of my favorite sociologists would respond to the recent murders of innocent Black people, and praying for justice and peace everyday.

This week, I participated in a dynamic panel discussion produced by Bianca Cotton, founder of Behind the Confident Smile. Today, she will be releasing Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us. This conversation was inspired by (In)Visible Portraits: A Love Letter to Black Women recently released on Juneteenth! Bianca says: “While I was watching the panel discussion I was so inspired by hearing other black women’s stories across generations and wanted to further the conversation by creating a space to do so.” She’s another example of what it means to take an active stance on the way society views Black women and I am excited to highlight her work! Our conversation left me feeling whole and supported and understood! You can view the conversation on her YouTube channel: biti.ly/btcsyoutube!

You can also help us spread the word by sharing the flyer and the bit.ly/btcsyoutube link.

There will definitely be more of this type of content coming from the SincerelyTyra brand and I hope that you continue to this journey with us!

—Sincerely, Tyra

P.S. If you missed any of the “Wine & Words” Facebook Live Series, click the following link to watch me premiere new poetry and awesome conversations about our culture, poetry, and politics!

COVID & The Conference Call

We’re on these conference calls and you can literally hear the fear and angst in people’s voices.

I know we all have obligations and deadlines (in spite of/during) this pandemic….

But I just want to remind you that it is okay to not dial-in or to dial-in and stay on mute if you are not well or in the best head space.

Let me be the first to say: “I am not okay.” So I’m not being judgmental.

But, after this last call, I’m wishing I could share my PTO hours and EPA with a few people.

Please remember to rest.

Please remember to do at least one thing that brings you joy—DAILY.

Please put your oxygen mask on first, beloved.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity!

If you can, take the babies with you to vote today.

It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time!

It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something.

My Joy had so many questions.

But don’t get it twisted, we definitely had the Black mom’s “don’t touch nothing… don’t ask for nothing… don’t breathe on nothing” talk before we left out the house.

And I Lysoled (I now declare this a verb… It took auto-correct six tries before it decided to let me be great) all of our outerwear when we came back in.

Then we prayed over mommy’s vote, our health and the health of the seniors that live in the building where my precinct is located (and, of course, 5-year-old-life things like play doh and her crayon colors).

Yeah it sucks that we have to vote (and actually work while we’re at home, might I add) during this period of chaos and confusion… But there is definitely a small bright side.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Support Your Friends (…Yes, for Free!)

Happy Tuesday, Family!

Supporting your friends’ small businesses doesn’t require spending all of your money.

Gotta a minute? …Yes?!

Okay, awesome! There are two ways you can support this blog and my future business goals!

FIRST: Connect with me on my blog, SincerelyTyra.com/contact. You’ll get a monthly update email with invitations to dope events that build community. I have a featured a few in the pictures below!

Share those emails with your friends and family every now and then.

Voila! First way to support us, accomplished! ✅

SECOND: Click the link: Sincerely, Tyra. Then, LIKE 👍🏾 and FOLLOW 🎯 the page.

Scroll across the top to “COMMUNITY.”

Click “INVITE FRIENDS.”

Click “ALL.” ‼️

Wait 10-15 seconds for the invitations to send.

— Simple enough, right? —

Comment “DONE ✅ ” and I’ll do the same for your FB Business Page or website. Let’s create our own promo! 🙏🏾

I know it’s seems too easy right?! Has to be a catch?! Not this time…. We tend to think that the only thing entrepreneurs want is our money.

But for many of us, genuine support is as simple as sharing, liking and helping to promote our endeavors!

It means a lot to us when we see those ❤️ buttons being pressed.

#SlayTheDream

—Sincerely, Tyra

Say it with me: “Worships can build community! Workshops can be entertaining!” …Now, ask me what they’re doing! 😉

I design flyers and marketing materials for community experiences.

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)

(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)

Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.

As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.

Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream #chicago #peace #project #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #osc #chicagobility #chipeaceproject #art #traumainformedcare

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story
Pictured: Audrey Petty, author of High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing

I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”

Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.

I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.

But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.

This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.

#SlayTheDream #myfridaynight #feelinginspired #nevertire #tytaughtyou #productofmyenvironment

Tell a Friend!

Yo! We gained 70 new friends on our Facebook Page yesterday!

SEVENTY! 7-0! The big SOIXANTE-DIX!

I’m super excited! Welcome!

I hope that each experience with the Sincerely, Tyra brand empower you to think about how dope you are, inspires you to share your talents and resources, build community with each other, and pushes you to #SlayTheDream this year!

Free ways you can support the #SlayTheDream movement:

✅ Go to the Community tab on our Facebook Page, hit “Invite Friends,” and smile!

✅ Check out the entire website: www.SincerelyTyra.com

✅ Join the conversation by posting comments and feedback!

✅ Share your favorite content with friends!

…Now, in the great words of Puffy, “invite your friends to invite their friends” or whatever he said.

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Update: The final count is in! Since the original post was published, we’ve gained almost 200 followers. (Hey y’all!) On Facebook, we’ve reached 4K people this month!

Invite your friends to the party from our Community page. Remember: Its always a great day to SUBSCRIBE to SincerelyTyra.com!

#poet #blessed #favor #design #shopping #shopsmallbusiness #love #passion #compassion #community #blessings #business #businesswoman #capital #entrepreneur #goals #quoteoftheday #creative #work #content #blogger #chicago #writer #Black #community #FOLLOW for #quotes #styleinspiration and #motivation #FacebookWatch

Move on, Sis!

Move on, Sis!
Graphics designed by EbonySun, LLC.

Having a conversation with a good friend and she asks me about a guy that I used be involved with wondering about the “end story.”

So I told her we grew apart and let her know that I really believed he didn’t want a committed relationship.

She went on to ask how I knew that he didn’t want one. My response: “If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”

I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.

As women, sometimes society wants us to wait around for the man to “get his mind right,” “get his stuff together,” and figure what he wants—or even, lead him into the relationship.

But sis, let me you something: You know what you deserve! Don’t let that man distract you from living the life that you want or sit around waiting for him to pick you.

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!

The man you’re supposed be with will come along and make his intentions very well known, sis!
—Sincerely, Tyra

Living on Cloud Nine

(Left to Right: TyraShange, D. A. Rhodes author of The Day Hate Stood Still, Rose Brooks author of Secrets of an Abused Woman, Dr. Geraldine Johnson, author of Trois a Trois)

I’m on cloud nine and I don’t wanna come down. | Natural high, haters can’t make me calm down. | Hunting for it and I could eat it right now. | These mf’in poems ain’t gon sell theyself na. | 😂…

(Okay, I got it out of my system! I watched the entire season of Rhythm & Flow yesterday after church.)

But, if I’m being honest: That mini verse completely describes how I feel after this weekend. It was such a dope display of village love in terms of celebrations.

On Friday, I got a call from one of our partner organizations asking if I could be a panelist during their final city-wide meeting for the year. Um… yes! (Well is was more like: YAAASSSSSS.)

Then, I participated in a panel showcasing my first book, A Smothered Scripture on Saturday.

It was really cool to hear the stories of the other authors and give advice to some aspiring writers. The overall experience made me realize how little of a platform that I’ve created for myself as someone whose normally coordinating events to showcase other people’s strengths. So, of course, I learned something, too.

But—full disclosure—nothing makes me happier than when someone flips to a random page of my book and completely relates to what they’re reading. At the end of the event, books were selling (and yes, a few given away) and I’m down to my last five when one of the audiences members (with a dope story in her own right), got super geeked reading a specific line on page 31. I even had another woman report that she started reading it when she got home that evening and didn’t stop until she was done. The flutter in my heart still hasn’t left at the sound of her words.

A few of us with the mom-&-dad-to-be.
A few of my faves.

Later I got to see some of my favorite people at my best friend’s baby shower. As soon as we walked in the door, it was all love. She’s an event planner at heart so of course the venue was really cute and full of laughter.

By the time I got home, I was tired but so hyped that I designed my book cover for Soul Fed in one sitting. Now I’m focused on getting the book edited just to see what the cover will look like in real life. I have a lot of work to do. But these past few days made me realize that I need to take more time to celebrate the benchmarks that I have reached.

So my goal for the end of the year is to “leave no accomplishment uncelebrated.” I intend to live on cloud nine for the rest of the year and expect everyone around me to get comfortable up here with the same energy.

Do you have ideas that you are working on or waiting to come to fruition? What’s going to push you to check them off your list before the end of the year?

A few of my mentors and My Joy.

Note to my village: We have a new baby, November and December birthdays and family gatherings to prepare for; we are so blessed! Thank you in advance for riding this wave with me! I love y’all!

—Sincerely, Tyra

#DearSelf

#DearSelf

Honestly, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately…

Then, I remembered I’m cut from a different cloth:

I’m a Queen.

I’m genuine and caring.

I have goals achieved and that are making progress.

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. AND, I know my purpose.

So despite everything, I was born to win.

Women like me simply do not lose.

—Sincerely, Tyra