#TimesUp A Woman’s Fury (My Story)

Times UP Tracee Ellis Ross

It was the first warm Saturday in April after a viciously long winter season. My friend and I were at a bar, enjoying the weather and a tropical drink. The vibrations in the packed restaurant were high, everyone having the same idea to get out of the house and enjoy a delicious dinner. We had to stand at the crowded bar because the wait for service was over an hour and the bar seats were taken. Engulfed in my friend’s story, I was shaking my head in agreement with her as she spoke. Then I heard an “Excuse Me” and I was shifted out of my place by the bar and moved to the side. It was a man, trying to get the attention of the bartender. I do not know what was worst, the fact that he said excuse me while shifting me to the side or that he physically shifted me. All that I know is that I was livid. I questioned if I was PMS’ing because I got so mad. I’m usually pretty calm and understanding about these situations, especially considering how packed the restaurant was, but I was angry.

I could not continue the conversation with my friend. I just stared at him. My friend catching the cue stared at him too. He must’ve felt our ice-cold eyes on him because he ordered his drinks and then proceeded to tell the bartender, “Whatever they are having put it on my tab because clearly, they stopped talking when I came around.” With a straight face, I said, “You touched me. You literally shifted me.” He replied, “I was only trying to order, I’m sorry sweetheart.” I rolled my eyes and he called me mean. He said my friend clearly was the nice one. If you know me and my friend, then you know the irony of this statement (hehe). I am usually nice but I was angry at that moment and I didn’t know why. He offered to buy us dinner but we declined. It was a girl’s night and we were enjoying each other’s company. Later on, when he was done with his dinner, not only did we finally get a seat at the bar, but he approached us again. I was able to explain to him how offensive yet inoffensive his gesture was. I tapped him on his side, since I couldn’t physically shift him, because he was bigger than me, to illustrate how invasive he was to my space and my body. He finally agreed that I was right and moving forward he would be more aware of it. It was a happy ending to a complex history of objectification and patriarchy. The next day, I questioned if I overreacted. Then I heard Tracee Ellis Ross’ April 2018 TED Talk and I realized the root to my anger. In it, she refers to a similar situation that happened to her friend at a post office:

“This fury was not my friend’s alone. Her fury was ignited by lifetimes of men helping themselves to women’s bodies without consent…There’s a culture of men helping themselves to women, and in this case, in a seemingly innocuous way, where a woman’s body is like a saltshaker: ‘Get out of the way so I can get to the fries.’” –Tracee Ellis Ross

It’s sad that it took Tracee Ellis Ross’ speech to give me permission to feel comfortable with my reaction. She gave me permission to not only be angry but furious and to revel in that fury because it’s generational and it’s a compilation of the fury of my ancestors. The fury of the women before me who had no agency over their bodies…their bodies! Yes, my personal anecdote may seem innocuous and I probably would have never written about it had I not seen this TED Talk, but #TIMESUP

#Podbyky Epi. 18 Pay It Forward W/Toni Robinson

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Toni Robinson is back on the Lifestylebyky Podcast, this time to tell everyone about her “Start your Repair Business from Scratch Academy” which launched on October 11. We talk about paying it forward, the importance of a business model, enjoying the journey and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I thank Toni for thinking of us whenever she drops something monumental like this. To access the Start Your Repair Business from Scratch Academy, visit her website. She also has an amazing Facebook group with a community of passionate people from all walks of life. Find all of the details below:





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I went to an advanced moving screening of “Detroit” and what a privilege that was. Detroit the movie is a beautiful tragedy. I found beauty in how well crafted the film was. Variations of real footage and actual footage of the Detroit riots were captivating. It started with a description of the Great Migration, using images of Jacob Lawrences artwork. Jacob Lawrence is a famous African-American artist who captured the plight of the Great Migration through his art. They literally made his art come to life, which was fascinating to see.

The beginning of the movie takes us into the commencement of the Detroit Riots, which was triggered at a party on 12th Street. The Detroit Riots was one of the main character of this film. Eventually we meet, the antagonistic police of Detroit, and something about their behavior seems eerily similar to our current issues with police today.

The protagonists of the film Larry and Fred appear about 20-minutes in, at the Fox Theater during a performance. The Dramatics (the group that Larry was in), was just about to take the stage before the police came to evacuate the venue. If you know anything about music of the past, The Dramatics eventually blew up in the 70s but this was 1967, right before their rise to fame and they were still hungry little teens looking to be the next Temptations.

What happens after the performance at the Algiers Hotel is the tragedy. Three innocent teens dead at the hands of police officers. I will leave it up to you to see this film and come to your own conclusions about this horrific occurrence that’s been left out of far too many history books. This film is a must see, and I encourage you all to brace yourselves!

If Issa Was My Friend… Insecure Season 2 Epi. 1

Photo Cred: The Atlantic

The season 2 premiere of Insecure was like soul food. Issa’s character awkwardly over thinks herself into crazy situations, setting her expectations high and leaving her disappointed, similar to what I do on a daily basis, especially when it comes to my love life. As the twists and turns of the episode unfolded, I found myself shaking my head and screaming at the screen “No Girl.” Not from a place of judgment but from a place of understanding. Been there and done all of that.

Thus, If Issa was my friend, was born. Unlike a recap of the episode (which is great, but there’s tons of those already), my Iyanla senses wants me to get to the root of Issa and Molly’s decisions this season. I want to be apart of their friend circle anyway, so this is kind of me bringing the idea of having a best friend in my head to life. See how that works?

If Issa was my friend, I would’ve told her, “No! Don’t have sex with Lawrence. They always come back but that doesn’t mean you should give up the goodies as soon as they do. He’s just not ready.”

Breakups are rough, especially when the woman is the one who cheated and is at fault for it. Some guys in these situations, develop these self-righteous attitudes, like they are so much better than the cheating woman. They act as if they are so disgusted by the presence of this woman. Even if the guy wasn’t so innocent in the relationship himself, something happens to his ego when a woman cheats and he pretty much changes.

This is what we are seeing happening to Lawrence. Lawrence loved Issa but now that Issa betrayed his trust, he’s unforgiving. My only issue with this, is societal double standards that are in favor of men when they cheat but not when women do. When a man cheats, the woman is supposed to forgive and get over it. Which in most cases we usually do. Society tells us to accept the reality of a cheating man because “ALL MEN CHEAT.” Whether that is true or not, we have desensitized cheating for men, but have not done the same for women. When a woman cheats, the consequences are grim. The men in these situations are not as forgiving and they are conditioned to walk away from the situation without any chance of reconciliation . Lawrence first instincts wasn’t to forgive Issa, it was to hurt her as much as she hurt him. It was to sleep with other women. Not once was it to hear Issa’s pleas of forgiveness. I am not condoning cheating for men or women, but I think the standards for each gender should be equal.

Issa created an awesome plan to show Lawrence that she’s living her best life by throwing a Wine Down party. She thought he was coming over but he in turn sends that disappointing text that he wasn’t going to make it. The feeling of defeat on her face was a little sad. Getting disappointed by an ex that you love and so desperately want to make amends with is always rough. But he eventually came around.

What we saw happen on that couch was not an act of love. That was a quick F***. Let’s not get it twisted. Issa opened a door for a friends with benefits situation. Lawrence and Issa are not back together, just yet. Lawrence is not looking at her in a loving way, although he still has love for her. She’s a sexual object now, a release for his pent up anger and that kiss on the cheek at the end was a slap in the face. I know we’re supposed to believe that he’s coming back. I know that cringe worthy smirk on Issa’s face at the end of the episode, means that even she thinks he’s coming back, but he’s not. Not yet. He’s hurt, his ego is bruised, and he still has to unpack some of those feelings. Sometimes men jump to other women to deal with that type of hurt. Lawrence is now with Tasha who seems to uplift him, despite her messing with the chances of him and Issa getting back together. Issa however is going to have to figure out how to live life without Lawrence in the mean time and iron out all of her issues so when Lawrence does finally come back, which he will, she’s ready for the relationship that they both deserve. If she still even wants that.

#Podbyky Season Finale “Meet Me At The Alter” w/Chris & Bri


I’m just going to start off by saying Podcasting is Life. When I first decided I wanted to do a podcast, I wrote a list of things that I wanted to discuss with other people. How could they impart their knowledge on me to help me to grow? To help my audience grow? I wanted to talk to everyone about everything that I cared about from Cultural Appropriation to Entrepreneurship. But one of the most pending questions I had, is when it came to one of the most important relationships in life…MARRIAGE.

I want to get married. I’ve wanted to since I could remember. My friend Nikki and I planned our weddings in a binder when we were 12. I love the idea of partnership and growth. Traveling, buying a home, raising kids, and growing old. I love the idea of having someone to always come home to, talk to, and share a bed with so I don’t have to be afraid of the dark anymore. But these are all idealistic characteristics of marriage and while it’s nice to dream about, the reality is 50% of marriages end in divorce. Therefore, I needed to know the gritty truth about marriage as well. The reality of marriage. What does it take to make it work? What qualities do I need to possess? What’s the hardest sacrifice you would have to make as a spouse? I knew just who to call to answer some of these questions.

Chris and Bri are twenty-somethings who got married right after college. They were young but they made it work and are in it for the long run (aka FOREVER).  It was important that I talked to them because God is at the center of their relationship. I can arguably say that Christian courting is harder than regular dating. I say this because of the standards christians have to uphold themselves to. The temptations that they have to fight off, IT’S HARD! But Chris and Bri overcame those challenges and their love story is inspiring. In spite of all of that, I knew they would also keep it real. They are super authentic and would be transparent about what it takes to make a marriage work.

Fun Facts:

  • This is one of the first podcasts I ever shot. You can actually tell, I was super nervous.
  • This podcast was shot twice. The first one was so good, I almost cried while interviewing them. Then while I was editing, it deleted into oblivion and I had to make that embarrassing call to Chris and Bri, like “Heyyyyyyyyyyyy, now what had happened was….”
  • The second podcast that we shot (you’re listening to Take Two) was just as amazing as the first – thanks guys.
  • When we shot again, Chris was sick. Sorry Chris!
  • Chris & Bri are the most gracious couple. They are super supportive of me and I appreciate their light, their story, their authenticity. They are unapologetically themselves and I love them for that.
  • This podcast is like SOUL FOOD. I learned so much about myself while listening to these two. I learned that there’s a lot of stuff I need to work on as I prepare for my life-long partner in crime.

What an experience podcasting has been. I love interviewing people. I love hearing people’s stories and trajectories. I love learning about what people had to go through to get to where they are today. It’s been an eye-opening experience and it has taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of.

Chris on Social

Twitter: @ChrisB06

Instagram: @dibaddestchaplain

Youtube Channel: ChrisB

Website: https://www.soundboothradio1.com/

Bri on Social

Website: https://crownfruit.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @brburton08

Ky on Social

Website: Lifestylebyky.com

Instagram: @lifestylebyky

Twitter: @bykyblogs



Amoi, (how cool is her name?) is the creator of ” Making of A Millennial Mogul”which is an online show where millennial entrepreneurs and moguls in the making share their journeys giving viewers an inside look into what it takes to achieve success. Amoi and I met at a Blavity conference and the bond was formed since. Both of us are pisces (born just days apart),Christians (we love the lord), and we often refer to ourselves as the future Ava + Oprah, speaking success into existence.

During this podcast we discussed millennials, the importance of sharing your whole success story (bad times included) and what our dream jobs would look like.

When we think of successful people, we often get the cookie cutter version of their story. We don’t get the “grind” narrative but the overnight-success one. I felt that it was important to interview Amoi because I am over those stories, and I believe she is doing something monumental to change that. She’s talking to millennials while they are on their journey, shooting interviews that are candid and transparent, so the path to attaining success that we often see is not misleading but real. One of her first interviews for her show was with Damali Elliot , Founder of Petals -N-Belles, which you can watch here. Since then, (we shot this podcast in Sept 2016), she has shot a few more interviews that are absolutely captivating.

As always I asked her if she’s living in purpose and what she wants to be remembered for. At first,while editing this recently, I thought, why would I ask such a heavy question? But putting our lives into perspective is something we all should do. Focusing on the present is monumental, but if you don’t have an idea of what you’re working towards, and the type of success you seek, then how will you remain consistent?


Follow Amoi:

Website: http://www.millimogul.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MilliMogul/

IG @Millimogul

Twitter @Amoi_MilliMogul

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#Podbyky Epi 15 Stilettos & Screwdrivers w/Toni Robinson


This podcast, which is intentionally being dropped on International Women’s Day celebrates Women In Technology. I sit down with “Wonder Woman” Toni Robinson Founder and CEO of Stilettos & Screwdrivers and author of “She Conquered” and discuss her trajectory to the successful mobile electronic repair business she has, as well as dissect some excerpts from her book “She Conquered”that she authored with an array of other successful entrepreneurs.

Some would say Toni has it all – she’s a mom, wife, entrepreneur, CEO, author, and speaker, but she remains humble when it comes to all of these things. What I enjoyed most about speaking to Toni was understanding how she balances everything and also the sacrifices she had to make as a working mom, which in her case led to her starting her own business and rejecting the 9-5. Toni’s intention was to show her two daughters and other young girls and women that they not only have the capability to be in tech but excel in tech and not feel like they have to compromise their femininity.

Toni has an amazing book out called “She Conquered” which you can learn more about and purchase by clicking the below image:
I couldn’t start the conversation without asking her if she saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and I couldn’t end the conversation without asking her if she’s living in purpose.

If you’re an Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Interested in STEM or just want some good ol’ inspiration, then this podcast is for you!

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Follow Toni and all of her endeavors:

Web: http://www.stilettos-n-screwdrivers.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/hottechssns/

Insta: @stilettos_n_screwdrivers

Follow Lifestylebyky podcast on Itunes Lifestylebyky and Soundcloud 

#Podbyky Epi 14 The 3 P’s (Patience, Process, Purpose)


Patience-Process-Purpose, are the three lessons I learned in the last couple of years navigating my life but more specifically, my career. I was discouraged for some time but at the right time, God came through and answered my prayers for the direction I wanted to go in my life.

Patience: Sometimes we need to humble ourselves in times of frustration. We need to take a deep breath and realize that although we are in a situation we don’t want to be in, it’s only temporary. So be patient, let God work in your life until your blessing is harvested.

Process: You learn the most on your journey to success during the process. You have to enjoy the moment, it makes you resilent. Learn as much as you can during this time and put your trust in God that you’re going to be fine in the end. Spend this time learning your passions. The process promotes growth.

Purpose: Isn’t this the goal? Sometimes we have to go through everything we do before God reveals to us what our purpose is. Keep believing.

Follow my podcast on Itunes Lifestylebyky and Soundcloud 

Inspired by Memoirs

The word memoir, used to sound like the most boring thing ever when I was younger. I stayed away from those types of stories. But within the last year I’ve read more of them and it has grown into one of my favorite type of narratives. I think there’s something so inspirational about reading someone’s story (dead or alive) and learning how they navigated life. Life is full of ups and downs and we don’t have an instruction manual for it. Sometimes we all get confused about our place in it or if we will ever achieve our goals, but when you read how others navigated their lives and see that their situations were no different from yours it gives you a sense of hope and sometimes may even inspire you to take risks and go after dreams. I am one of those people who google the age of celebrities that I admire to compare where they were at my age. I know this is an odd thing to do, but I do it, to make sure I am on the right track. Most times I realize that I am, but there’s always that extraordinary person who’s killing it in their teens or twenties. For me, some of the key elements of really good memoirs are:

  1. Transparency: I love memoirs where the author is transparent about their life and their mistakes. No one wants to read a memoir that they can’t relate to.
  1. Started from the bottom: I love memoirs that take you on the journey of life staring from the beginning. Society and social media tend to show you what success looks like without showing what it took to get there. I like when authors take you on the journey from the bottom up and not just the “up”.
  1. Evolution or Growth: As humans we are constantly evolving and growing. I love memoirs that shows a person’s growth. If you are the same way at the beginning of the story that you were at the end, something is wrong. Life should always push you to be better, greater, stronger. We are constantly learning and evolving and I love memoirs that illustrate that.

Some of the memoirs that I read recently have all three of these characteristics:

Autobiography of Malcom X by Malcom X

Assata An Autobiography by Assata Shakur 

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock 

The Education of Kevin Powell by Kevin Powell

My Voice by Angie Martinez 

A memoir that I am looking forward to reading this year is: Foxy: My Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier. I absolutely love her and I know she has a powerful life story.

What are your favorite memoirs?

#BlackTwitter17 Conference

I don’t know what I expected from the Black Twitter 2017 Conference, but since it was being put on by the National Association for Black Journalist (NABJ) I knew  it would be a great event. The event was held at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. I love this school, it’s very high-tech and modern. There were 6-Panels for the day. So to avoid this being a long post, I am going to share one key take away from each:

Panel: This Year in Black Social Media with Dr. Sherri Williams(Wake Forest University) and Dr. Meredith Clark (University of North Texas) via Skype

Advice for balancing social media and your career: Think about it like an ongoing audition. Don’t put anything out there that you cannot stand by.


Panel: Black Media Post-Election. How will black media and black journalists operate during the Trump Presidency? with Wesley Lowery (Washington Post), Cherri Gregg (KYW Newsradio Philadelphia, Jamiles Lartey (The Guardian), Errol Louis (CUNY J)

“People’s online reading behaviors is intregral to the editorial process for better or for worst.”-Jamiles Lartey



Chat and Chew with Blavity + Buzzfeed

This chat was really cute. Sylvia Obell  interviewed Brandon Harden about the things happening over at blavity. I thought the both of them would interview each other, but it was more one-sided. However this was a highlight of the event for me. What Buzzfeed and Blavity is doing right is they are not afraid to take risks and they are setting a new standard in the industry and among millennials. They are putting out videos about how many strings will it take to break a watermelon or 17-aunties that everyone has and this content is real, raw, and authentic. We can all learn from the innovation and creativity of these platforms.


Panel:Social Media Activism with Tyler Tines (SB Nation), Steve Pargett (The Dream Defenders), Aaron Morrison (Mic.com) and Misha Cornelius (The Advancement Project)

“You never want to be in a situation where a story is covered by a white colleague and they don’t get it right and you were sitting right there but didn’t speak up.” -Aaron Morrison

This comment stuck out to me because it’s not shade to white people, but we can’t expect them to completely understand our culture and our perspectives because they are not black, which is why diversity is extremely important in the work place.


Panel: Top Tools & Branding for Social Media with Jozen Cummings (Bleacher Report), Rhonda Elnaggar (Buzzfeed) and Benet Wilson (Aviation Queen)

You need to keep yourself and your relationship with social media healthy – which means when something is too much for you to see or watch on social media, turn it off ie. Alton Sterling shooting. Self-care in the age of social media is so important.


What’s Next in Social Media? with Sarah Glover (NABJ President) Manny Fantis (Sinclair Broadcasting), Teghan Collins (Sinclair Broadcasting)

Use Facebook as a tool, not just a publishing platform, get folks over to your brand.