You are a rarity.
A gemstone that is not only precious but scarce.
You’ve been disgraced and beatdown so long
I doubt you know the difference.
Something is only precious when it is preferred.
But when a gemstone is rare
people search for it, and when they find it, they rejoice
for a rare gem is not easily available
for it, one must look.
There is no creation like you.
There is no body like yours.
No mind can conceive of the things you’ve seen
Even the ground is confused in the way that you walk
When you wake, the earth
quakes and shudders and the sun smiles
No instruction can map out the contents of your mind
You precious one.
You delicate rock.
You silk mountain.
Do not become small for those who refuse to climb.
Let the ordinary ones stay on the ground.
Let those who cannot swim stay on land.
Understand, you are a fist full of moon.
And those who cannot appreciate your light
must stay in the darkness.
There is no place for shadows
in the land of the living.
You are life.
You are womb.
Without you, the man was incomplete,
and without help.
You are not only golden
You are gold.
You are historic.
You are not only precious
You are rare.
Please help me extend a warm welcome to Victoriyah Smith. Welcome to the PBS Blog!
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Victoria Smith (Victoriyah Israyl) and I am from Gulfport, Mississippi.
What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream was to be able to travel to different countries around the world. I have been blessed to travel to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, Progresso, Montego Bay, Cozumel, Key West, to name a few places. I enjoy learning new cultures and trying fresh foods as long as it is not pork or shellfish.
I feel you. I love traveling myself. Got a travel buddy? Married?
I am married to my wonderful, loving, supportive husband, Willie. We have shared this life together for 21 years.
Beautiful. Let’s talk about writing a bit. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book on June 15, 2020, and it was a wonderful feeling.
Oh okayy. You new, new. Congratulations!
Thank you. It took a lot of work, time, and learning technical things to get it in the correct format for publishing; it was definitely a learning experience. I am now working on promoting my book as I work on writing my next book. I know the process will be more straightforward because of my first experience.
What do you love about yourself?
I love that I am a giver. I enjoy helping others and being a blessing to others who are not as fortunate as myself.
In your own words, what is humility?
Humility is being humble in my heart and my actions. Humility is the opposite of being puffed up and high minded. To walk in humility means to open yourself to understand the pain and disappointment of others. It is a welcoming approach to solving violence, anger, and aggression in relationships and society. Humility is being of no form or fashion, but existing in love and understanding as you seek to understand others when there is no peace. Humility is being as a little child.
I love that part about opening yourself up to understand the pain of others. Victoriyah, what is the best advice you’ve ever been given? What made it special?
My father gave me some wisdom as a young adult after I built my home. He was laying a new driveway for me, and I tried to pay him before he had finished the work. My father looked at me and asked, “Have you seen the finished product?” My answer was “No sir,” and then he said,” Never pay for a service in full until you’ve seen the finished product. Even if it’s your daddy.” Those simple words have been special in my life because it gave me the courage I needed to hold people accountable in business transactions as a young woman.
That’s awesome. Why is writing important to you?
Writing has always been an escape for me. When I became a Sunday school-teacher years ago, writing became a huge part of my life as I would write stories of the bible that would help my students to understand the scripture in a greater way. As I have continued my relationship with the Most High, writing has been a central focus of my meditations as I am being guided by my creator to unfold many truths about the bible. I hope that the truths that are written in my books will help others increase their belief in our creator Yah.
Life is not always pretty, as we all experience hardship now and again and this is magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. What is your best advice for reducing stress?
My advice for anyone experiencing hardship is to understand that there is a purpose for everything we experience. To find the meaning of life is to gain a relationship with our creator Yah and the Messiah Yahoshuah. I believe that by doing that, the Most High gives us understanding and direction in the path we should take in our lives. Pray to our creator Yah, cast all your burdens and troubles on him, and he will lift every burden (stress) and give you peace that surpasses all human understanding.
From the natural perspective, start a hobby, exercise, eat healthily, write more, and evaluate the decisions you are making and set goals to remove anything out of your life that may be causing stress. Our creator will give you the strength to remove those things through prayer.
Beautifully articulated. Outside of writing, what are some of your passions?
I enjoy gardening. I grow my own cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and peppers. I also have a passion for helping women become their own bosses by giving them the tools they need to succeed. In 2014, I established an organization to work toward that end. It is called “Network of Women Business Owners.” I also enjoy helping the less fortunate individuals in the community with clothes, food, and resources to help them overcome life’s challenges.
Thank you Victoriyah for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, Victoriyah received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama and her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi. Also, she obtained an associate’s degree in Business Management from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. With a passion for helping every inspiring woman become her own boss, Victoriyah shares her proven insights with diverse audiences through training, consulting services, workshops, seminars, and online platforms.
Mrs. Smith is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Network of Women Business Owners, a professional business network established in 2014 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Victoriyah resides in Gulfport, Mississippi, with her husband, Willie, and her (4) children and grandchildren live in Texas. She is available to conduct speeches and facilitate professional development training for professional women groups, organizations, and empowerment business events.
Welcome back to Black History Fun Fact Friday. Today, we learn about Lucy Craft Laney.
Lucy Craft Laney was a famous educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She opened her own school in 1883, which became known as Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Augusta, Georgia where she served as teacher and principle for 50 years.
Laney was born on April 13, 1854, one of ten children, to Louisa and David Laney. Laney was not enslaved as David Laney purchased his freedom twenty years before Laney’s birth and then purchased his wife’s freedom sometime after their marriage. Laney was taught to read by her mother at the early age of four. By 12 Laney could translate passages in Latin. She attended Lewis (later Ballard) High School in Macon, GA which was sponsored by the American Missionary Association.
Laney prepared to be a teacher at Atlanta University in 1889 (later Clark Atlanta University), graduating from the Normal Department (teacher’s training) in 1873.
Laney’s school started out small with just a handful of students. She began her school in 1883 in Augusta. Her school was chartered by the state three years later and named the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. Originally, Laney intended to admit only girls, but several boys appeared and she could not turn them away. By the end of the second year, there were more than 200 Black students enrolled in Laney’s school.
Over the years, Laney made many improvements and additions to the school. In the 1890s, the school was one of the first to offer kindergarten classes for African-American children in the South. She also opened a training center so that black women could train as nurses. The school’s curriculum provided the students with traditional liberal arts courses as well as vocational programs, which was groundbreaking at the time, but that’s not all. Laney’s school also acted as a cultural center for the Black community, hosting lectures by nationally famous guests, and various social events.
This woman vomiting her
hunger over the world
this melancholy woman forgotten
before memory came
this yellow movement bursting forth like
coltrane’s melodies all mouth
buttocks moving like palm tress,
raining rhythm to blue/black/smiles
this yellow woman carrying beneath her breasts
pleasures without tongues
this woman whose body waves
this woman wet with wandering,
reviving the beauty of forests and winds
is telling you secrets
gather up your odors and listen
as she sings the mold from memory.
there is no place
for a soft / black / woman.
there is no smile green enough or
summertime words warm enough to allow my growth.
and in my head
i see my history
standing like a shy child
and i chant lullabies
as i ride my past on horseback
tasting the thirst of yesterday tribes
hearing the ancient/black/woman
me, singing hay-hay-hay-hay-ya-ya-ya.
like a slow scent
beneath the sun
and i dance my
creation and my grandmothers gathering
from my bones like great wooden birds
spread their wings
while their long/legged/laughter
stretched the night.
and i taste the
seasons of my birth. mangoes. papayas.
drink my woman/coconut/milks
stalk the ancient grandfathers
sipping on proud afternoons
walk like a song round my waist
tremble like a new/born/child troubles
with new breaths
and my singing
becomes the only sound of a
womb ripe. walking. loud with mornings. walking.
making pilgrimage to herself. walking.
Today we are introducing and spotlighting Tinzley Bradford, poetry contest sponsor! Tinzley is an author, relationship coach, motivational speaker, and correspondent for Bold Favor Magazine.
Tinzley Bradford was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s a single mom who knows all about single parenting while dating. For years through her dating blog, “And You Wanna See My Feet” and her tell-it-like-it-is YouTube videos, she has helped single moms and single women get their love lives together. The relationship coach has also been seen giving single mom dating advice on “Dr. Drew’s on Call” TV show on HLN, and The Single in Stilettos Show with Match Maker and Dating Coach Suzanne Oshima. Her local media 11 Alive News in Atlanta has been featured in a slew of articles, such as Mommy Noire interviewed by Top Relationship Coach Abiola Abrams, Single in ATL.com, Thoughtful Minds United and a ton of other blog post appearances. Tinzley is known for her no-nonsense advice for single women and strongly believes in refusing to settle for any old treatment as the key to living a settle-free life and not tolerating any behavior that is not healthy for you.
A Message from Tinzley
“I write because I want to share my message and help single moms and women make wiser choices when choosing their mates. I truly believe God has given me a gift to educate women by changing the way they view themselves hence changing the way they view what having a healthy fulfilling relationship should look and feel like. I write because I want to heal you, women, who are broken, who have been lied to, taken advantage of, mistreated, used and abused, misled. I want to be that voice of reason outside of your spiritual connection that gives you the courage needed to overcome ALL obstacles, bad or abusive relationships and self-esteem issues. I’m here to inspire, I’m here to encourage, I’m here to share, I’m here to not only help you learn to love yourself enough to not settle, but to love yourself period whether you are in a relationship or not.
I offer insight on the importance of not settling for unfulfilling relationships which I believe can often lead to drug abuse, depression, abusive relationships, prostitution, sex trafficking, mental illness, and self-hate. Over the years, I’ve seen so many broken women who just can’t seem to get unstuck and many of them have become this way after being in a bad or abusive relationship. I’ve seen people with so much potential become drug addicts, prostitutes, criminals, abuse victims, and many become mentally ill, insecure, and no longer have any get up and go about themselves and they have just given up on hope. I want you to know it’s time out for settling for mediocrity and not wanting better for yourselves. I want you to know that no matter what your past or present situation may look like, there is hope…. You Are More!” – http://www.tinzleybradford.com
A beacon of life and hope not only for single mothers but for all women! Tinzley’s Settle-Free Dating Method will SET YOU FREE! “AND YOU WANNA SEE MY FEET” was the book based on the popular lifestyle blog by top relationship coach Tinzley Bradford. The quirky name of her blog came from an unfortunate encounter from one of her many pursers who wanted to judge her worthiness based on her feet when he wasn’t even up to her level to himself. A single mother herself, she’s the daughter of a single mother and the mother of a single mom and for her, the cycle ends now! The Settle-Free Dating Method is more than just a dating guide…this is a way to conquer your relationship life and make it fun, healthy and spicy so you get the love you deserve! Because YOU ARE MORE!
Some of the most common forms of protection for women during their cycles were grass, rabbit skins, sponges, rags, menstrual aprons, homemade knitted pads, or other absorbents. Usually, women used some form of cloth back in the day. These cloths are why “she’s on the rag” is a popular expression used to refer to menstruating women.
While she did not invent the modern version of the Maxi Pad, Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner developed the sanitary belt, one of the first versions of the modern-day pad.
Mary was born in Monroe, North Carolina, on May 17, 1912, and came from a family of inventors. Her sister invented a children’s board game that explored family ties called “Family Treedition.” Mary’s father, Sidney Davidson, patented a pants presser in 1914. According to historian and former U.S. Patent Examiner Patricia Sluby, a maternal grandfather of the daughters was of German and Irish descent who invented a tricolor train light. It’s safe to say that developing things was in Mary’s blood, pun intended.
The sanitary belt was a belt used to hold pads in place before designing self-adhesive maxi pads.
Mary invented the sanitary belt with a moisture-proof napkin pocket, but the company that showed interest in the pads rejected the invention because Mary was a black woman. For this, the sanitary belt didn’t become widespread until 1956, thirty years after its design. Learning this has taught me the power of patience and how everything comes to be in its time. It may have seemed like a lifetime to Mary, but eventually, her invention saw the light of day. Mary received five patents for her invention between 1956 and 1987.
While mostly known for her invention of the sanitary belt, Mary had other groundbreaking designs like the toilet paper holder, and the mounted back scrubber and washer for showers. Mary has been an entrepreneur from the start, operating her own floral business in Washington, D.C., when she was not inventing things.
Adhesive Maxi Pads (a sticky side that stuck to the lining of a woman’s panties) were invented in the 1970s, so the sanitary belt did not last very long. But without the belt, someone would not have thought to make things easier by eliminating the belt and just going with the napkin.
If you are a young woman like me and have never used the belt, you can Google Sanitary Napkins (or talk to your mom or grandmother), and learn that the strap was uncomfortable and inconvenient. While tampons existed, using them for younger women was considered sexually improper. (A pretty good article to study up on the evolution of pads can be found HERE.)
Life happens in stages, and good things come to be because someone took a risk on something others may not have found useful. Mary’s invention helped women who didn’t want to use tampons to get by and paved the way for all of the pads currently on the market.