Notes from The Saturday Scholar

My Joy and I went out to be #SaturdayScholars to learn from the experiences of a few successful writers. Lucky for us, these phenomenal Black women stopped by our church, Quinn Chapel AME, this morning to share their stories and their journeys to becoming published!

Our discussion featured (pictured from left to right) the author of The Joy of Being A Little Black Boy, Valerie Reynolds; Michelle Duster, the great granddaughter of legendary journalist, publisher and human rights activist Ms. Ida B. Wells, who herself is an author of a shelf full of books and essays about Black history and women’s empowerment; and Quinn’s own, Dr. Geraldine Johnson, a seasoned educator and writer of The “I” Illegal.

I am so appreciative for the panelists dropping knowledge and the Women of Quinn members who helped coordinate this event. For more information about the upcoming events at and the history of Quinn Chapel AME Church, see http://quinnchicago.org.

For more informationon the authors and their books:

Michelle Duster: http://www.mldwrites.com

Dr. Geraldine Johnson: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1456846841/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_SHVpAbH4PDS17

Valerie Reynolds: https://www.joyofbeingablackboy.com and @blackboyjoyroy on Instagram

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #lifelonglearner

#BooksMakeBetterGifts #happyholidays #MyJoy

Real-time Realizations

Just wanted to take a minute to give thanks. Also, crazy how it’s only 10 days left in 2017, but there’s still time to #SlayTheDream.

#BlackGirlJoy

To the young, Black women vibrantly

laughing your way onto the train:

in your Black attire, hot pink accessories,

yoga mats in tow; four matching from head to toe,

I wonder if you are members of a dance company or simply exercise sisters or perhaps practicing to one day train with the WNBA. Whatever it is causing your joy this dreary morning, hold on to it unashamedly. They are stifling our emotions-every one but sorrow.

We are not sorry.

Apologetic perhaps as we tour

this land that we built yet continues to welcome our falling, dead bodies unto it.

Happiness is yours.

But, pride, you deserve too.

–Sincerely, Tyra

7 Things I Do When I’m Sad (Self-Care Post)

So, this list is comprised of actions that have helped me get back to my routine after being laid off; overcome a bad breakup, and grieve a loved one’s death. They all may not work for you, but I encourage you to find what does work to help rebuild your confidence and your happiness.

-Sincerely, Tyra

Hair Wars and Self-Care

Spoiler Alert: This is a “Hair Appreciation” post.

Yall. I used to be the queen of bone straight hair which over time ended up damaging it. Literally took me 10 years to become comforatble with my natural curl pattern. Would have never worn my hair like this even two or three years ago. My hair and I have come so far. 😄

Sincerely,

Tyra

#10YearsWithoutPerm #ComeAMightyLongWay #NappyHairLover #Growth #ThrowbackToYesterday #naturalslay #naturalhair #tbt #SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #hair #curlyhair #loveyourself #hairlove

Freedom

I always wondered

how birds feel

gliding through the open 

sky, nestling on the 

highest branch,

above the chaos 

of the world,

above the clouds 

and their rain.

So close to the sun,

what need would they 

have to lower themselves 

to the ground?
Have you even noticed 

the dirty red robins in

the nest outside 

your window?

I wonder now if 

they can hear our bodies

singing to each other;

Or our silent prayers 

for one another 

and each meal you’ve cooked.
I like to pretend

I know what they 

sense gliding through 

a cloudless sky or 

perched high above the 

world when I am near you. 
©sincerelytyra

Coins | Uplift

Dear Love,

If you have it within you, uplift someone through word or deed today. You never how you may brighten someone’s day through a simple acknowledgement of their value to you and to this world.

Sincerely, Tyra 

Grinding On His Vision

I found this photo on Google this morning (which credits Pinterest.com as the source lol) and realized that as much as I try to hold my tongue on the things I want to do in life, I ALWAYS end up telling someone. Usually my grandma or a best friend are the people with whom I choose to share my new ideas. Having a confidante or two is great, but not everyone has eyes for the work that He puts in us to complete. 

Ultimately, I think sometimes we delay our own positive outcomes by sharing too much of the vision God want us to carry out with others. This delay usually manifests in our response to one person’s negative vibes or another individual’s sheer misunderstanding of the dream. For example, I cannot remember how many times I had to explain to my family that I was going to be an the first Black AND first Woman President! Why did it matter to my grandmother how hard it would be for me to succeed? Why was I constantly reminded about how much stress must have come with decision-making for the entire free world? Needless to say, I gave up on becoming the first Black AND first Woman President of the United States of America. 

Decades and new dreams later, I am still explaining myself and my goals to people that sometimes cannot see the vision. Thankfully, this photo helped me realize that not everybody (no matter how close or familiar lol) needs to be on your soundboard/leadership team. Sometimes it is better to leave the conversation of your desires with The One that created the dream in your heart. 

What desires are you sharing with others that only God understands?

To Be Exalted

Sa-me-yah!
Sa-me-yah!
Sa-me-yah!
Darling child,
I love everything about you!
From the tips of your tiny
nails and fingers
to the smile that lingers on,
outlasting your laugh.
You are my everything.
The sun doesn’t rise
without your light.
The moon and the stars
are mere dust
compared to the
sparkle in your eye.

Note: Samia means to be exalted in Arabic.
To purchase my book, see amazon.com/author/tyracowens.