Voice and Freedom

I used to be “the quiet one” in the family.

But my fam knew how to uplift me stoically. Voice is still only revealed or reeled in when necessary—mostly to heighten the sound of another’s. It’s tougher out here for the introverted mind that’s alerted by the time we usually tend to run out of while creatively converted rhymes creep up behind us or before us or however.

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Never one to waste breath so I guess if I’m in front of a mic it’s my time to shed some light on a situation that needs exposing. I’m supposing the fam could be better if we all poised our voices to be a bit more righteous. We are the only ones who can write us into history. Honestly, who’s words are more powerful than our own? It’s a known fact that no one can tell your story better than you. Remember, they used to call me the quiet one, too.

#SincerelyTyra

#SlayTheDream #representationmatters #poetry #poem #community #excerpt #writing #art #artist #creative #family #introvert #design #podcast #voice #worklife

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Voice and Freedom

Career Change?

I think that I may have missed my calling… I have been off work for two days and now I’m thinking about becoming a stay-at-home mom/home-maker.

Bruh, I was so productive earlier in the day, started cooking dinner at 4PM, and we have cleaned the kitchen and eaten all before 7PM.

I luhh my job, but what is life now that I’ve experienced this on a weekday???

If I can do her hair and get both of us in the bed by 10PM, you can’t tell me nothing.

Note: At some point, My Joy started wildn’ out and had to have a “timeout” (read: timeout, spanking, nap—in that order). And, in hindsight, I definitely cooked too much food. But, other than that, I would not mind doing this EREDAY.

Pray for me as I crawl back into my work routine tomorrow!

#latenights #earlymornings #outofschooltime #youthdevelopment #SlayTheDream

Just sharing.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Career Change?

A Genuine Invitation

We all know a few people that may not have the best relationships with their family members—and those that may not have the luxury of being able to see their family.

Check on those people today. Invite those friends to the house or at least to pick up a plate. (Or drop it off, if that person is your elder.)

We were not created to be islands. If you’re truly thankful, it won’t hurt or cost you anything this holiday to reach out to them.

Other than that, I hope we all eat ‘til our hearts are content. I hope everyone gets to be around people who care about us. Happy Thanksgiving!

—Sincerely, Tyra

A Genuine Invitation

Go VOTE!

Today’s intention is to VOTE:

1. bc my life depends on it.

2. bc Sameyah’s life depends on it.

3. bc someone needs to know that they have the right to vote despite their past mistakes.

4. bc if you’ve been convicted of a felony in Illinois AND served your time, you can register to vote and cast your ballot in the very next election (see state law below).

5. bc number 4 should’ve been posted all year long—daily.

6. bc Sankofa won’t allow me not to.

7. bc “in an era when a black woman voting was a laughable suggestion and a deadly proposition, Harriet voted for freedom with her feet. with her limbs. with her life. –Brittany Packnett

8. bc Ms. Owens would be disappointed if I didn’t.

*Illinois state law 10 ILCS 5/3-5: https://bit.ly/2Pfc3Mu

Just sharing.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Go VOTE!

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

Notes from The Saturday Scholar

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

Hair Wars and Self-Care

A Sprinkle of Black History Magic 

Dear Everyone:

Biennially, I do a daily post during Black History Month (BHM) on my Instagram. I treat it like my own little 28-Day challenge. Perhaps next year, I’ll get my life together enough in January to actually create one of those cute, little calendars that mysteriously floats around the internets with a daily theme to showcase as much Black glory, Black struggle and Black ingenuity a measly 28 days can capture. But for now, all I can muster up is my own random, morning Instagram posts that easily are more of a testament to how I am feeling when I wake up than the vast history and beauty that is my people’s legacy. (At least I am not claiming to be a veteran historian, right? #KnowYourStrengths2017)

Therefore, this post will be a running tab of my daily IG posts–freshly copied and pasted–for your browsing pleasures. Quick backstory: I started doing these posts to spark conversation with my high school students, because, Chicago Public School’s (as I’m sure other places, alike) curriculum has been missing the mark when it comes to empowering our Black babies with knowledge about their cultures, their leaders, and definetly their historical accomplishments.

So if you see something you like or a bit of history you did not know, let’s talk about it! Want to add significant data that I have missed? You are more than welcome to do that, too! Let’s make the sharing of these tidbits of knowledge a unified front with the spirit of Carter G. Woodson himself.

Note:(1) If you would like to see this daily curation of Black Historical Magic at its original destination, follow me on IG @SincerelyTyra.

(2) There are four hashtags (#) that will ALWAYS accompany my daily BHM posts. They include:

#BlackHistory

#BlackPresence

#BlackLove

#DistinguishYourself –Again, this started as a way to encourage and empower my all-Black group of high school students at work.

(3) I think I am also supposed to mention that these photos are not my own unless otherwise noted. In other words, don’t sue me!
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Day 1: 
Of course on Day 1 of this month, I woke up like this:

Strolling thru the first day of Black History Month like…

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Day 2:

Since it’s Day 2 of BHM…

What other FLOTUS had TWO ivy league degrees? That’s right, you don’t know NAAN! (Trick Daddy and Trina fades into the background).

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Day 3 of BHM | Chicago Edition:

FLASHBACK: 1968

The day after the Chicago City Council voted to rename South Park Way after the recently assassinated Martin Luther King Jr, summer students at Dunbar Vocational High School Willie Thornton, Lamar Jackson and Pat Foster couldn’t wait for the city to change the signs. Some aldermen had complained that King deserved more of a tribute. That came five years later when Illinois became the first state to honor the civil-rights leader with a holiday.

Shoutout to my DVCA alum!

(Original source: Pinterest.com)


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Day 4:


Happy Belated, Mr. Hughes!

Since he’s so popular, I’ll indignantly assume you know who he is and leave you with one of his less popular poems. 


Dream Variations

 To fling my arms wide

In some place of the sun,

To whirl and to dance

Till the white day is done.

Then rest at cool evening

Beneath a tall tree

While night comes on gently,

    Dark like me—

That is my dream!


To fling my arms wide

In the face of the sun,

Dance!  Whirl!  Whirl!

Till the quick day is done.

Rest at pale evening . . .

A tall, slim tree . . .

Night coming tenderly

    Black like me.

-Langston Hughes


Find this and more of his work @ poets.org!



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Day 5:

Sunday’s Best: Crowd outside of fashionable Negro church after Easter Sunday service, Chicago, Illinois (c. 1941) 

Source: http://pin.it/vRb03Ax

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I’m a few days behind… so enjoy this quick flood.

Day 6

We See You: Tracee Ellis Ross made history this year when she took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy/Musical (for her role in Black•ish). The last Black woman to be recognized and honored by the GG’s Hollywood Film Society with this award was Debbie Allen some 34 years ago for the show Fame. 


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Day 7

Untold Histories Pt. 1:

1. Read the caption. 

2. Fact check. 

3. Congratulate the man, the mission, and the students who have advanced because it. 

4. Share the good news.


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Day 8:

A Writer’s Work:

“I’m the first black woman to write for Marvel,” Gay explains in the video above. “Which makes no sense. I didn’t know that when I signed on. And quite honestly, they didn’t either.”

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A Sprinkle of Black History Magic