Year in Review: Black Girl Magic on Twenties Unscripted

We’re kicking off Celebrating Black Womanhood week here on Twenties Unscripted with a look back on all of the brilliant brown girls I had a chance to feature this year on the blog.

Writers. Entrepreneurs. Filmmakers. Activists. The rise of digital media has translated into a wealth of untapped talent hidden in the underground world of blogging. Every single day, I am finding new women doing new and amazing things. I am honored and proud I had a chance to feature some of that new and amazing work this past year. Much applause and love to each of the women below who are changing the game.

Black brilliance represented on Twenties Unscripted in 2014
Black brilliance represented on Twenties Unscripted in 2014

(Links listed based on images beginning in top left hand corner, read left to right)

Erica, creator EverythingEnJ, winner of the 2014 Black Weblog Award for Best Personal BlogSnip20141124_1
July 14, 2014 “Someone Should’ve Told Me
July 21, 2014 “For Erica
October 2, 2014: #FBOMBSEVENT: “A Conversation With Erica Nichole About Fearlessness
The War on Black Women’s Bodies Part 3–Domestic Violence: A Survivor Speaks Her Truth

“Some things are not what they seem. Don’t be fooled by the façade and never covet what someone else has because you don’t know how they got it and you never know what’s happening behind closed doors.”

Alisha Nicole, creator of The Alisha Nicole and Early August
November 10, 2014 Feature: Alisha Nicole of TheAlishaNicole.com

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. New businesses pop up everyday. Make it your business to stay relevant and in front of your customers face.”

Ariel, creator of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps
November 18, 2014 Feature: Ariel of Revolutionary in Pink Pumps

“I don’t think that you can be a writer without having tough skin. When you put your opinion out there you’re open to some hurtful stuff and I’ve had a few trolls who really tried to come for my neck.”

Snip20140815_6Yetti, creator of YettiSays.com
July 15, 2014 The Chase

“Embrace uncertainty. Love the fuck out of it. Because the very same uncertainty that may throw you off your route may detour you toward something better. Sometimes your plan is not for you.”

GG Renee Hill, creator of All The Many Layers and author of The Beautiful Disruption and Wallflower
February 23, 2014 Showcase Spotlight: GG Renee Hill of “All The Many Layers”

“A lot of women are existing but not thriving because they lack meaning in their lives. I’m drawn to write for these women because I was one of them. So busy doing what we think we are supposed to do, but inside feeling like something is missing. As I found myself on this mission to pursue a more intentional life, I started to share my experiences and I became passionate about creating content for other women on this journey.”

Amber Janae, creator of Who Is Amber Janae and author of The Root: A Compilation of Poetry, A Woman’s Quest to Self-Love and Sacrifices and Deception
September 19, 2014: Writing, Inspiration and a Little In Between: Chat with Amber Janae

“To me worrying about the numbers, how much it’s selling and who is buying is a distraction. It can be a bit of a discouragement as well. My first piece wasn’t a NYT Bestseller, neither was the second or third, but I aspire to get there one day soon. The only way I will achieve that is by continuing to create the work my readers love and not worry about the numbers or the profits.”

Minaa B, creator of Respect Your Struggle
September 24, 2014 Respect Your Struggle: Feature w/ Minaa

“A part of being human is learning to accept that failure and weakness are a part of the package in life. To embrace vulnerability and admit weakness will be the strongest thing a person could ever do for their soul.”

Angelique Fullwood, activist and president of the Tampa Chapter of Dream Defenders
September 5, 2014 Feature: Angelique Fullwood of Dream Defenders

“Know your identity and understand your purpose. There are many ways to contribute to the movement. Being involved means being relational with others in your community, striving for organization and operating under shared values.”

Thais Francis, filmmaker, actress and creator of “Late Expectations”
September 17, 2014 Feature: Thais Francis

“I once had an acting teacher who always said ‘Do the work.’ It really is that simple.”

Anique Hameed, ambassador for the My Black Is Beautiful CampaignSnip20141214_5
August 21, 2014 Twenties Unscripted Takeover: Anique Hameed

“It is imperative that Black women define beauty for themselves because there are people being paid to tell you that everything, except for what your blackness represents, is beautiful.”

Chaédria LaBouvier, filmmaker, activist and writer
August 20, 2014 Twenties Unscripted Takeover: Chaédria LaBouvier

“It’s almost as if people expect that they need to be ruthless to have an opinion or to be thought of as intelligent. I think it’s far more sophisticated and more of a challenge to give constructive yet compassionate feedback, if there’s any to give.”

Evette Dionne, writer and cultural critic from the millennium
August 12, 2014 Evette Dionne: Inside The World Of A Freelance Writer

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that a writer has to work within the industry and establish contacts before becoming a professional freelancer. While both of those things can be helpful, it isn’t especially necessary. The Internet is one of the best tools available for writers. Establishing a following through a blog or social media can catch an editor’s eye, and open doors that were previously guarded by gatekeepers.”

Stacy-Ann Ellis, writer, photographer and artist
August 18, 2014 Twenties Unscripted Takeover: Stacy-Ann Ellis

“One thing I keep hearing in one way or another is if someone says what you’re doing is good, it’s okay to believe them. I don’t give myself enough credit all the time because of occasional doubts and have a hard time accepting compliments or praise. But believe in your product the way you want others to, and they will.”

Morgan Pitts, founder of CosMORGpolitan and creator of #BlackGirlsWhoBlog, 2014 Black Weblog Award winner for Hashtag of the YearBlackGirlsWhoBlog calendar
July 18, 2014 Friday Feature: Morgan Pitts of CosMORGpolitan and #BlackGirlsWhoBlog

“As a black woman who blogs, it’s special and unique to see women who look like me doing what I’m doing. I love reading our stories, sharing our experiences, and overall having a voice and presence online. Blogging has given us an outlet to do these things, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Candice VanWye, creator of Brown Girl Bloggers
July 4, 2014 Friday Feature: Candice VanWye of Brown Girl Bloggers

“I wanted to find minority women who blogged about food, gaming, finances, etc. I felt that minority women weren’t showcased enough on popular blogger platforms after I scrolled through the front page of many of them and saw no brown faces or only one.”

Chymere Anais, creator of ChymereAnais.blogspot.com
July 17, 2014 [Fill in the Blank] Consistency Breeds ____________.

“Moral of the story is, stick to something and do what you said you would do.”

Amberly Ellis, filmmaker and documentarian
September 12, 2014 Feature: Amberly Alene Ellis

“My mission is to capture life through film in ways that force audiences to think about something in a way that they did not think about before, and to do this in a manner that is as true as possible.”

Melissa Beck and team, founders of B Astonished Events, LLC
August 22, 2014 Twenties Unscripted Takeover: Melissa Beck

“My biggest advice is do not give up. Starting a business can be so intimidating, but once you get past the initial legal paperwork, you can go from there. Follow your goals and make your dreams become a reality.”

Nneka Okona, writer and creator of Afros Y PaellaSnip20141214_6
July 16, 2014 A Parisian Dose of Peace

“I think love is sure. It’s tranquil. it’s calm and peaceful. It’s soothing. It’s strong but not overpowering. It’s big but not suffocating. It’s balanced.”

Raven Best, creator of the Free Your Mind Project
July 25, 2014 Friday Feature: Raven Best of the Free Your Mind Project
September 25, 2014 Don’t Rely on Olivia Pope to Represent Black Women

“My main goal is to show my followers and other brown girls that there is no one way to be black and a woman. We all have different looks, passions, talents and strengths and I want to celebrate these differences rather than let it cause division.”

Dejah Greene, photographer
February 21, 2014 Showcase Spotlight: Dejah Greene

“Follow your gut and enjoy what you do. Try not to get so caught up in what everyone thinks of you or your art.”

Lexi B, creator of Grown Up Truth
July 16, 2014 The Life, Times and Lessons of a (Former) Angry Female Employee

“So ladies, wear your heels or chucks, zip up your suit or your jeans, pop your curls, straighten your locks, or have your weave laid. Just do you and always work on outdoing yourself every day.  Everything else will come into place.”

Eboni, creator of Keep Calm and Keep Yourself
October 30, 2014 Which Woman Are You?

“If we as women would stop trying to constantly one-up each other, we could do some amazing things within our society.”

Celebrating Black Womanhood promotional flyer

 

Stay tuned this week for more special features as we Celebrate Black Womanhood, culminating in the special photo gallery series finale of The War on Black Women’s Bodies!

To The Beautiful Black Women Who Read And Support My Blog

Author’s note: Today is my last post until Monday, July 21. Next week there are 11 phenomenal writers whose work will be represented during Twenties Unscripted Guest Writers Week. Please show them love.

I never write about race. It’s sort of this unofficial rule I conjured up a long time in hopes that my writing would reveal itself as universal for women, not just black women. I struggled with the title of today’s post, aware that I could lose readers or polarize my audience. But, I had to write this, especially in light of celebrating two years of Twenties Unscripted and knowing the bulk of women who have made my blog what it is.

I’m not writing this to say that there are not women and men of all races and ethnicities who have supported my work and boosted Twenties Unscripted. I completely get that. I do not take it for granted one bit. And, I will continue to write in the interest of all women, independent of what they look like. I appreciate anyone who has ever read my work, even one word of it. But, I had to pause today. Because there is something incredibly special about the black women who support my work.

There are certain moments in life that only prove to be pivotal in retrospect. One of those moments was last summer when Evette Dionne listed Twenties Unscripted on a Clutch Magazine list of 5 Underrated Blogs You Should Read. After that list, a lot changed for me. A lot of doors opened. And, black women I would have never known read the list and embraced my blog with the kind of love I thought could only come from close friends and family.

Later that year, I won a Black Weblog Award for Best Personal Blog. Another one of those pivotal moments that I didn’t even realize would change my trajectory until after the fact.

Since then, women like Candice Shaw of Brown Girl Bloggers have reached out to me and given me opportunities and exposure. Women like Morgan and Lindsay of #BlackGirlsWhoBlog have constantly promoted my work. Women like Kimberly have given me opportunities to write for From A Wildflower and present my writing to a larger audience. And, there is no way I could write this without saying that women like Erica and Yetti have let me lean on them and vent to them about every tiny writer woe I have. They have uplifted me and pushed me beyond my own incessant self-doubt to do things I thought I would never be able to do.

These are all beautiful and supportive black women who have taken chances on me and given me opportunities to run like the fucking wind. There is not one doubt in my mind that black women have primarily made my blog what it is now. When I scroll through my Twitter mentions, I see a hell of a lot of beautiful and different brown faces. So, instead of resisting the need to write anything about black women, I have decided tonight that I must embrace it. I must embrace the same group that has so graciously and zealously embraced me.

Listen, black women are awesome. We are motherfucking awesome. I don’t need to tell you why. We just are. And when we get together and support each other, we are only that much more motherfucking awesome.

So, thank you. Thank you for making me feel validated and valued as a black woman in the blogosphere. Thank you for taking in my work and wry wit. Thank you for telling the rest of the world that black women do not only have to blog about hair to kick ass and gain readers. Thank you for being beautiful and supportive and responsive and encouraging and intelligent and so accepting of what I am trying to do and give to the universe. Thank you for holding me down in a world that too often tries to hold me back. I mean this. All of this. From the bottom of my heart and the tips of my fingers and the pit of my belly. You all are some kind of wonderful.

Xoxo,

Tyece