A Conversation with Jamila Lyiscott

What’s Good: Exploring the standards of black worth

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I reached out to my friend Jamila this summer after her TED Talk went viral for a sit down talk about the piece and how she was dealing with all the attention. In the planning stages of the event Eric Garner was killed by an illegal choke hole used by a NYPD police officer. Then Mike Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson, his body left in the street for 4 hours, the people of Ferguson took to the streets and were met with by a militarized police force, and the rest is history.

The direction of the talk had to shift. Jamila and I were completely on the same page and she decided on “What’s Good!?: Exploring the standards of black worth.”

At the crux of the deaths of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and so many others is the underlining idea that they were not worthy of life. The blackness of their skin and their cultural identity did not meet the standards set by white supremacy for living in America. As heartbreaking as that is…it’s the truth.

We set out to explore the standards that blacks are forced to live up to in hopes that our humanity might be recognized by the police or the white people we seek out for help after getting into a car accident. Most importantly, we sought to explore the standards we set for ourselves, to recognize the beauty in blackness, to love ourselves and each other a little more, and to take our respective place in this current movement.

“It starts with just do it.” ~ Jamila

Checkout the pictures and video below:

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Stylishly & Consciously Yours,
Nia

Back to Basics

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It’s back to basics today! I’ve been MIA for a minute but I’m back. Holiday season is winding down at my job and I can finally begin to breathe again. With that said I’m looking forward to sharing some of the awesome things we’ve been cooking up for you guys.

If I had to choose an aesthetic of the moment it would be minimalist. I’m loving all the neutral tones and clean lines. I will probably stick with it all winter long. I fell in love with the over-sized camel coat a few seasons ago but I couldn’t afford it back then. When I saw this one at Forever21 I just had to have it. I waited for the perfect time for a camel and black moment and it finally arrived. GLORAAY!

This look is very basic, yet super stylish. It’s fun when you can make the most of all the basic pieces in your wardrobe. How are you rocking basics these days?

Skirt- H&M
Shoes- Forever21
Sweater- Forever21
Coat- Forever21

Stylishly Yours,
Nia

Stripes & Florals

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If you want to know where I am in my life, take a look at my outfits. This look in particular tells so much about who I am right now. Three things come to mind immediately:

1. I’m taking risks.

Mixing prints are so much fun, but it’s definitely a risk. Linda and I were recently discussing just how homogeneous my life was just a year ago. It was all the same people, doing all the same things…blah. I loved those things and those people but I needed to be shaken up a bit. I’m open and ready to try different things and different people. Let the risking begin.

2. I’m not taking anything too seriously.

Intense would be a pretty accurate description of my personality. I go hard! These days I’m just living..chilling. Not many things are urgent. I’m truly in love with all things I’m dedicating my time to and most importantly they nurture me and uplift me in a way that renews my energy. I can relax…breathe… Cheers to that.

3. I’m comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve heard that the older you get the more self assured you become. It’s true! I’m so good.

Conventionally, strips and florals don’t “go,” but in recent seasons they’ve made a big splash all over the blogosphere. There is only one thing I keep in mind when rocking florals and strips, keep things in the same base color. The base color here is black. The skirt is from ASOS, the cropped top is H&M, and shoes are from JustFab.

Stylishly Yours,
Nia

Fall Magic

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I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it always feels magical. Maybe it’s the holidays or my birthday (three weeks away), it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year for me. Closing out the year, ringing in the new one, with countless opportunities to get together with family and friends. It’s just pure magic.

There is also the added bonus of fall fashion. This outfit just screams fall
fashion. The green khakis, the leopard shoes, cropped sweater and red coat are perfect for frolicking on a beautiful fall day.

My sister recently installed my burgundy box braids and I’m obsessed with them. I’ve been searching for this color hair for a while now and finally stumbled on it a few weeks ago. It’s just the perfect hair color for the fall and the box braids make my life so much easier while working through the busy holiday season.

Hopefully you are grabbing a piece of fall magic.

Stylishly Yours,
Nia

Either pretty or smart?

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I’ve always been the smart girl. The leader. I guess I have my mother to thank for that. My family tells legendary stories of my mom carrying me on her hip as a baby and teaching me words from my surroundings. Before I could even speak. She gifted me with every book she could get her hands on and served as her generation’s only secondary school and college graduate.

She also carried a large amount of my family members on her hip on a teacher’s salary. She’s led us through the difficult years and brought us together when tragedy struck – all while being the epitome of grace and style. She still is.

I’ve always known that women are capable of being both glamorous and savvy. I guess I have my mom to thank for that, too. I was never taught to be either pretty or smart. My mother nurtured both my brains and my self-image.

I begged her for a relaxer since I knew what it was. She said no and reluctantly gave in when I turned 12. Her trips to the US resulted in me having all the latest fashions. For church on Sundays, I was the belle of the ball. Big dresses, shiny shoes, and my gold chain. For carnival, she had the best dresses made for me to wear to the festivities and egged me on as I “wine down de place” with my cousins. As soon as school resumed she expected nothing less than first in my class. Yep…that’s my mama!

She taught me how to be a WHOLE person. So in rare occasion, I have to disagree with Adichie. Many women are taught to be both pretty and smart. I do recognize that my mother’s job became significantly more difficult when I joined her in the US. For most of my teenage years here in the states, I was one of the smart girls. The requirements to be a pretty girl in the States seemed so much higher. Let’s see…”good hair”, nice body, pretty face, nails done, brand name clothes, the attention of boys and most importantly you couldn’t care too much about your grades or reading. That wasn’t me. It was just much easier to study hard and get good grades, but I never lost my connection to the idea that women can be many things at the same time.

There is no reason why we can’t have the brains to run the world with a great sense of style and twerking abilities. At the core of it, this is why I started this little blog. GlamSavvy is the manifestation of an ideal that I was taught and experienced first hand. Women are EVERYTHING!

Stylishly Yours,
Nia