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NEWS: SOCIETY 6 SHOP NOW OPEN

BIG NEWS!!!!

Now open my NEW Society 6 SHOP! https://society6.com/tlcbytlj

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For years I have wanted to make my art prints and more available for sale however finding income to have a master printer produce my artwork proved to be a uphill battle that defeated me each time. Truth be told the struggle has been real which is pushing me to be present, proactive, creative and empowered by my creativity for my financial growth.

So this is where Society 6 comes in. Its a website that empowers Artists by making printing variety of products available without the large sum of money down. They also offer a great deal of deals for shoppers.

When you purchase any one of my products, portions of the profit go directly to me. My biggest profits come from Art Prints & the framed pieces.

So if you want prints or more of the artwork featured on https://society6.com/tlcbytlj you must order them from the website. I want to clarify that you can not purchase prints or products directly from me.

Please let me know if purchase anything please contact me via: https://tlcbytlj.com/contact/. I would to hear about your experience and see you rocking with a piece of TLCbyTLJ in your life. If you reside in the tri-state area we can certainly  make arrangements to have your print signed!

 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Society 6 just debuted a new uploading system which has impacted shoppers ability to view the all the products I offer. To view art prints as well as the various products available for an artwork please follow this link: https://society6.com/tlcbytlj/prints.society6_tlcprints_step1

Click on the image to view the art print details as well as all the products available for that artwork.In this window you will be view various sizes of the art prints.society6_tlcprints_step2

Below the art print purchase details you will find the various products available for that artwork, the products available will vary so check each one.

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LINK TO SHOP: https://society6.com/tlcbytlj

Love ya,
Tiff!

Now go and purchase some art 😉

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#INHERHONOR

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On May 19th, 2016, as part of the national #SayHerName day of action, Black Lives Matter asked folks to participate in lifting up women and femmes who are no longer with us, and/or those who inspire us in our everyday lives. On the Black Lives Matter website (http://sayhername.blacklivesmatter.com/) the public was asked to upload an image, graphic or photograph of someone you want to lift up, using either #SayHerName for those who have been taken from us and #InHerHonor for those who are still with us or passed from natural causes. #InHerHonor was created through Tanya Lucia Bernard’s leadership of Black Lives Matter’s  Arts + Culture branch; Walter Cruz,a City-As teaching artist, Tiffany and the City As School “I Honor You” Youth Activists. The Youth Activists were asked to take the lead on creating an iteration of the campaign around #SayHerName for a national action on May 19th, 2016.

It is my honor to announce that the Youth Activists have been invited to share their art and skills at the Summer Edition Harriet’s Apothecary! YAY! 

 During Harriets they are displaying the original pieces from the #SayherName & #InherHonor project as well as supporting folks through the creative journey of making a piece honoring a femme or women they would like to uplift.

See you on June 16th & 17th in the village! Click the flyer for More information & details:HARRIETS_FLYER_SUMMER16_2_WEB

 

For Taueret Davis,

I remember.

It was a Saturday.

I walked out of the DSW after using a giftcard to purchase shoes for my godsisters wedding. I was met by cop cars and flashing lights and a crowd surrounding a man, who laid on the ground bloody. Not a totally unusual scene for Union Square. 

There you stood overlooking with a cautious yet caring eye. I knew you were feeling heavy from the weight of life. I admired your transparency. I too was feeling broken under the harshness of life.

I tapped your arm and in all your fierceness turned around with “Ah! I am so happy you are here”   These words have become my affirmation. I am here! 

We talked about life in all its complexities, transformations and rainstorms. The details of our exchange will remain between you and I, for its sacred.I sung to you: Its ok to be sad sometimes. We hugged multiple times, good hugs that only two fat fabulous sisters could give each other. For that one moment we didn’t feel alone in our loneliness, alone in our hurt, alone in our not being ok. We had each other. It felt good.

You walked away pulling a suitcase behind you. You turned to me and said “We have to get tea”, which was an affirmation that our divinely “random” running into each other reminded us of how much we had in common, how much we really liked each other and above all else we are sisters. 

You went into a store. 

I went into Forever21 to get a new outfit for my early bday transformation haircut. I was determined to feel renewed, so I made the decision to cut off all my hair. Cutting off my hair has  become a ritual of cleansing and releasing the past. Getting a new outfit insured that when the cape was removed I would be reborn into  eveythang brand new! 

It worked.

Tuesday was my 32nd birthday and I felt released and closer to a path of healing. I thought of you and was going contact you for our tea date.

True to fashion of our modern times, I checked my social media for bday love messages. As  I scrolled my timeline I saw a beautiful collage of you by our mutual internet sista Keena. I read the caption and my heart dropped. 

On Sunday, the day after we loved up on each other, you decided to it would best for you to leave this world by ending your life. 

My life has been forever changed by our last moment together. 

I may have been the last person to hug, sing and consul you. The Universe trusted me with that divine task. The Universe knew we needed each other. We needed to see our reflection each others eyes. We needed to be affirmed.

This world, a world we sometimes just merely exist in…….I am living more now, is harsh on the bodies and souls of black, fat, femme, differently abled, queer women. The Universe knows this. The Universe knew we needed that moment to be released, understood and held. 

I believe this to be true.

Taueret, I am better. My healing, our collective healing, has become apart of my work. I have reignited the poet,performer, artist and activist within. I am committed to addressing how WE sustain and care for each other.  

 To do our work we must remain connected to the collective emotions (the trauma,joy,discomforts, IT ALL) in order to heal and advocate for our community. Its exhausting!   We must be a master empath. But who loves the lover, who heals the healer, who fights for the fighter, who gives to the giver, who teaches the teacher, who replenishes our well!  We make ourselves visual for the empowerment of not only our lives but others. But when do we live in the abundance,take a break, get some recharging going, do we know how to? Perhaps our healing can found in the work. I am committed to finding pathways to self care, love and healing. I do it for us Taueret. 

Sometimes I am angry. Angry that you are gone. Angry that we must learn how to live under siege. Then I am reminded by our mother ancestor Lucille Clifton to celebrate! 

come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed. 

-Won’t Celebrate with Me

I understand why you choose to leave,sometimes the rainbow just ain’t enough!, I love you. I hope you found peace. I know why you left, I know why so many of us leave. I know why so many of us stay. 

In honor of you, our moment and my re-birthday I had a gratitude and celebratory tea party with the village that held me down, my anchors, when I almost slipped away.  Over laughter, tears, dancing and many hugs we had the tea that you and I never had the chance to share.  It was beautiful. We celebrated! 

You were there. My sisterfriend gifted me a yellow Venus of Willendorf candle!!! The symbol you wore on your chest. The symbol that made us  first connect in the hallway of a Brooklyn apartment building getting some air from the first Sweat parties.

I miss you although I know you are always with me.

I am closing this letter with a poem I wrote, it dedicated to all of us magical black girls.

TLCbyTLJ_ABL_IMANI

TLCbyTLJ_ABL_IMANI_2Thank you for that day.

I love you.

Peace,

Tiffany

Healing the Past & Present for the Future: A TLCbyTLJ & Black Lives Matter Collaboration

 

Black Futures 2016 - Tiffany Lenoi Jones -Healing Justice

 

Our bodies hold a story of trauma and triumph. My story is an inherited narrative. My ancestors live in my body.Their aches and pains radiate in our bodies.

“Epigenetic inheritance” is the idea that environmental influences such as smoking, diet and stress can affect the genes of your children and possibly even grandchildren. Imagine how the impact of your ancestors repeatedly being abused, refused and neglected have impacted their descendants? Imagine the impact of inherited and experienced trauma onto a body?

Over time my community has learned how to cope, sometimes ignore, the impacts of trauma on our health. As a result we are plagued with stress disorders, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Not mention that our trauma is exploited. But that is for a post on another day chile!

I am one of the amazing artists commissioned by Black Lives Matter to create an image for Black Futures Month. I was given in the theme healing justice. Healing Justice is the awareness and healing of the inherited & experienced trauma on de-humanized bodies. To read more about Healing Justice click here READ NOW! 

My artwork tells the story my Family Tree.

The Past…………

The top of my tree stand my Paternal Great Great Great Grandparents, who survived the brutality of slavery and managed to raise a family. My Great Great Great GrandMother holds her heart charka as she stands next to her husband my Great Great Great Grandfather Burl.  I can’t imagine the harm they experienced. The power of their will to live and love lives within me. Surrounding them a glowing beam of yellow honoring their divinity as guides in my life and their descendants . They survived for US. Ashe!

Beside them stands my maternal Grandma, Virginia Elizabeth Lewis, who managed to love even with a broken heart.I call her Mama. My Mama was an artist, a dancer, an amazing cook and free spirit. She worked her mojo through her love, her food, her designs and her smile. My Mama was a victim of domestic violence, my grandmother was a victim of western patriarchy and white supremacy. My Mama internalized her pain. Surrounding her is glowing beam and gold halo honoring her as my angel. Her heart radiates. We hold our hurt in our hearts. Our heartache is heart disease. My Mama survived for US.  Ashe!

The Present……………..

Beneath the ancestors stands my given and chosen family: My father, mother, sister and myself. My father, a Vietnam Vet, who working towards his healing both in mind and body. My mother who holds a candle burning at both ends, she like many black women do much but fail to care for self. My sister, Erin, and I stand blowing out the candle, symbolizing us caring for our mother by giving her permission to heal.  My sister and I individually work towards bringing healing justice to our family tree. My sister a healer through fashion & self image and I a healer through art & education. We are hugged by a rose and sage, both plants have been meaningful in my healing journey. We are clearing the harm of the past in order to move forward with love and wealth in health. We will no longer burn the candle at both ends. We de-invest into the stigma of being a strong black woman. We push back on messages from a capitalistic,heteronormative, white,patriarchal, body policing society that finds its strength in our presumed weakness and inferiority.  We find strength in being vulnerable. They survived for us, we heal for them. 

The Future……………….

I have found my chosen family in my school community, City-As School. City-As is an alternative transfer high school in NYC that serves the city’s most unwanted but most needed young minds, these young people WILL change the world. The power within them is resilient. It is the power that liberate us all. Their power is rooted within. It is important.

In my village, called school, I am a mother, teacher and healer. Teaching is my healing justice.

In my artwork I highlight two powerful black educators and healers in my community. Ummi, an educator, mother, writer and healer stands proud as she signs the word “Heal”. She is my healer. She reminds me to care for self and stand in my power. She loves me to where I need to be. Andre, an artist, yogi and educator stands in a yoga pose. He welcomes me  every morning with reminders to relax and breathe. He conducts daily medications and yoga offerings for students and staff. He is magic.

Ummi and Andre stand behind Alexis, a recent alum of City-As. Alexis entered my life as student and remains in my life as family. Alexis mother to Riley. Alexis is an inspiration of radical womanhood and motherhood. She makes me better. In her life I see the importance and influence of healing justice as it directly impacts our future, Riley.

Alexis holds a supercharged Amethyst, in her hand. Amethyst is a clearing ,healing and protective crystal. Alexis stand behind Riley, who has already proven that my healing is her healing. She is magic, pure black girl magic.

Riley, the only full color person in the tree, stands in awe of the butterfly in hands. The butterfly representing hope and transformation.

Riley is our future.

We heal for her. 

We stand behind her because her black life matters. 

Our black life matters. 

 

 

 

The Great Humanistic and Historical task

The hard truth, that I learned with ABL, I am working with:

“This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both- Paulo Freire”

Now take allllll of that in…………Ill wait…………………………………

Deep huh?

While I understand that the liberation of ALL is a personal task, I am beginning to understand my POWER of influence. This power I speak of  has been both socially given & taken, and grown within. The intersections of my identity provide me with a unique outlook. As a queer woman of color in I navigate through a patriarchal, heteronormative, white and gender rigid society that THINKS its power is found in my inferiority. As an fair complexion intergenerational multiracial femme presenting woman with her masters degree in Education, I have ASSUMED power. I am assumed to be smarter, able, prettier, better and this list can go on.

These intersections provide me a critical view of society both as  privileged and marginalized. Now please be clear, it is the responsibility of those who have ASSUMED power to be aware of themselves to work WITH oppressed communities. As Lila Watson, Aboriginal activist, says “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

This all boils down to one important truth the social ills of the world presses down on ALL of us and damages our ability to see our mutual humanity. We must release ourselves from systems that enable us to be blind to the humanity of EVERYONE. This is my human task.  Those of us that chill on the borders have the power. We have the most honest power because it is rooted within. This is my lifework. I address it everyday as an artist, educator, daughter, sister, friend and partner.

I am invested in the transformation of power not is transaction. I challenge my ideas of what I have been socialized to understand power as.  I wish not to oppress, suppress, repress my being onto anyone because I know to well what that PRESSING does to the soul.

My power is rooted in ME.

Where is your power rooted?

Come and Celebrate with me: Self Care & Love in Continued Terror of Black Live in America #sayhername

I am settling into my home, NYC, after 2 weeks away in Andover, Mass. I was a selected participant in the Andover Bread Loaf writing workshop for educators. I must confess I attended with selfish intentions. This experience was embraced for Tiffany, the person not teacher Tiff. I was hyper aware of my need to challenge my self damaging notions of my inability to write. I needed a space in which I would approach my writing with a new attitude. I needed to be affirmed. And I was.

I am a re-born poet! And newly born writer!

The 2 weeks gifted many lessons, that I intend on writing installments on this blog. *lets manifest this yall*

While away news of the passing our sister Sandra Bland hit my newsfeed. Rage, sorrow, confusion, hit my heart & soul. Questions still remain unanswered.

In these times when we can easily be buried from the weight of the heartbreaks, the wakes, the shakes in the foundation of humanity, I chose to find the space to celebrate. To remind myself that this work is worth it because life, HUMANITY, is beautiful. Through celebration; laughing, loving, dancing; humanity shines through the terror and I am recharged to do the work.

It is also when I turn to my ancestors and elders for guidance. Our ancestors have left us their wisdom in song, dance, art and writing. These artifacts have become my spiritual doctrine, their life is a testimony of the magic, beauty of the universe, of the divine nature of brown people.

Our mother ancestor Lucille Clifton spoke to me during my 2 weeks away in her poem, Won’t Celebrate with Me.

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

—Lucille Clifton
I celebrate because I AM HERE, YOU ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE! Our loving, our laughing, our healing is our mojo. It is the life force that Mother Lucille knew was our pot gold. We are the unwanted but the most needed. Everyday something has tried to kill us and has failed. We are unstoppable. Remember to say our ancestors name, celebrate them. Sandra, my sister, I say your name because they took you from us, from those who loved into the powerful woman you are. They tried to kill your legacy and failed.
Sending my love to you all.
Take care of yourself.
I close this post with Mother Lucille reading her word magic.

AFFIRMATIONS: Honoring Self & Community Care for & with Educators of Color

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I am proud to have illustrated and designed the flyer for:

Affirmations: Honoring Self & Community Care for and with Educators of Color! 

Did I also mention I am PERFORMING! 

I invite you to affirm your greatness, your purpose, your beauty, your healing. Affirm YOU!

Growing into 2015, I affirmed to re-emerge as Artist.

This year I have been working on projects outside of my classroom walls.

Event details are below, share, invite and hope to see you there! 

As educators of color we are often expected to take the lead–or asked to remained silent–on difficult conversations about race, and other aspects of our identities. At our respective institutions this role can often be both a necessary responsibility as well as a burden. Particularly in an age of contentious debate and protest over the heighten visibility of the police state and its affects on black lives and ongoing marches and protests calling for racial justice, the need to re-center race, self and community care and healing are crucial and imperative.

AFFIRMATIONS emerged out of NYCoRE’s Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG) #BeyondtheMarches: Living, Teaching and Organizing through the Intersections, and our collective desire to support #blacklivesmatter movement building. Through performances, sharing heart stories, songs, dances and herbal teas AFFIRMATIONS intention is to honor, explore, lift up and affirm self and community care by and for educators of color. The hope is that we all can build a pedagogical practice that is courageous and also sustainable.

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EVENTBRITE TICKETS: http://bit.ly/1dmNJB9
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Performance Nights
Saturday, May 30th, 6-8pm. Followed by fellowship hour 8pm. *For people/educators of color only*

Sunday, May 31st, 6-8pm. Followed by fellowship hour: 8pm. *For people/educators of color only*

Sunday, June 7th, 6-8pm. Followed by fellowship hour: 8pm. *For people/educators of color and white allies*

All donations and proceeds from the door will go to healers and organizers in the #blacklivesmatter movement building.

Because of the donation ticket structure for this show, multiple tickets must be purchased in separate transactions. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this might cause; it’s a limitation of this website. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Guest author: The Familiar Tale of Race, Power, Privilege and black life in America

Here is an entry I did post a PD/workshop I co-lead in relation to art education NOW & #blacklivesmatter.

ENJOY

Art Education at City College of New York

IMG_8122Author Tiffany Jones reflects on the recent Teaching Art Today: #BlackLivesMatter Teach in held at the New Museum on March 19, 2015.

Teaching art today is an opportunity to discuss life and all its complexities, while providing an outlet and the skills for students to communicate a message. Art provides students with a pathway to healing, empowerment and advocacy. Art makes their thoughts visual thereby making the artist visible, hard to ignore. Therefore as art educators I invite us to be agents of change, who explore hard issues like race in our space of learning.

So where to start?
Breathe! Self-care is imperative. Be mindful of yourself and your limits. Acknowledge
that race is a social construct that produces, informs and sustains a long list of social
injustices like police brutality. Race is a Goliath and it’s not only your task to address it.

It’s a social issue. So…

View original post 409 more words

YOU MAKE ME FEEELLLLL!

This morning my Mom reminded me of this classic, by Sylvester, from my childhood. I just got my life as I plan for my very busy week and it made me understand somethings about myself.

1. Being brown and queer was celebrated in my house

2. Good music filled my home

3. House music was instilled in me like going to school & fighting the powers that be!

4. No wonder why I am so damn FABULOUS!

5. I know random Queer Facts like: Sylvester was in the Cockettes, a queer arts collective in San Fran. Check the doc about them!

What makes you feel mighty real!

THANK YOU!: Day 14 & 15

Today I am

thankful for my family

thankful for a life of wellness and health

thankful for my pole sisters and Sacred Studio

thankful for reflections of my greatness

thankful for love

thankful for time

thankful for waking up to a big and beautiful home that I have made for myself

thankful for my community thinking I am and will be a great mom

thankful for elders

thankful for the universe speaking through souls who know how to deliver the message

thankful for my sister, my best friend and biggest supporter

thankful for my Mom, who makes me laugh and feel loved

thankful for my Dad, who I take after.

thankful for all the new life and marriages happening around me,give me hope

thankful for tears

thankful for the 2 year olds that reminds the life is worth living and its good

thankful for memories

thankful for music

thankful for HOUSE and DISCO

thankful for walks in the museum

thankful for my god-brother making me feel super loved and funny

thankful for any moment to be creative!