Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking Barriers 

Mahershala Ali, born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in Oakland, California on February 16, 1974, was raised by Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised Christian but later converted to Islam and graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communications. His interest in acting came about after taking part in the staging of Spunk which helped him land an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater. After a sabbatical year where he worked for Gavin Report, Mahershala enrolled in New York University’s graduate acting program, obtaining his masters in 2000. He is married to Amatus Sami-Karim and on February 22, 2017 they welcomed their first child, a beautiful little girl by the name of Bari Najma.

Mahershala Ali is known for being seen all over our TV screens, on the “BIG SCREEN”, and on stage in quite a few plays. Some of his works are:

House of Cards

The Hunger Games

Luke Cage

The Wronged Man

The 4400

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Smart People


These are just a few works where he showed his brilliant acting skills but make no mistake there are many many more. The rewards he has recieved show the many accomplishments he has and continues to make in his career. One of his most recent accomplishments is becoming the first Muslim to win an Oscar for his portrayal in Moonlight

Mahershala most recent and awesome accomplishment speaks to ones level of determination to never let anything hold you back. It also speaks to being patient and trusting the process because often times we want success and money right away without putting in real time and effort, while remaining dedicated to the ultimate goal. Do you know what your ultimate goal is? What are the things that you want to achieve that will make you feel like you’re on your way to breaking barriers? These are important questions to think about and refelect on because we all view success differently and we all have ways we can and want to achieve that success. Let Mahershala Ali be all the proof you need that having the right level of determination can get you very far in life!

Photo Credit:

Let Tay Tell It

Sneaker Craze Saturdaze 

Air Jordan Retro 9 “Space Jam”

Release Date: December 3, 2016

Price: 190$

Colors: white, black, true red
Who remembers the movie Space Jam? Do you remember the scene where Jordan had to help the Looney Tunes defeat the monsters so he had Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny go back to his house to grab his lucky shorts and sneakers ? Well these are the exact sneakers they had to grab! I have a pair and I love them! Some sneakers are sometimes uncomfortable to wear and start to hurt your feet afterwbile but I did not experience that with this shoe AT ALL. The Air Jordan Retro 9 “Space Jam” is a shoe I would recommend to anyone!

Where can I purchase these shoes?

Buy here now:

Buy here now:

Photo Credit: Sneaker News

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women ignore all of the things we keep allowing, when these men end up hurting us?

Ladies how many times have you been told “that man only does what you ALLOW him to do”. Probably too many times to count right? I know that would be and is my answer. I have people from friends to family tell me this all the time yet I would still continue dealing with things I had no business allowing to even occur.

Please understand that I am in no way saying that these men are right for what they do to us and put us through but eventually you have to ask yourself why it continues to happen. It seems so simple especially when all you ask is for these men to do is be faithful, loyal, loving, respectful, and 100% committed. We do not get into these relationships expecting to be treated in ways no woman should be treated but it is life; its these situations that make us the women we are today. However, at some point you have to step back and look at the situation to see the part you are playing; realize the things you have been allowing.

These are times where we have to keep a constant reminder of what people have been telling us since guys were even a thought because we are so quick to blame the guy but after the 3rd, 4th, and 5th time of the same thing happening we need to start asking ourselves what are we allowing to take place that makes these men feel like they can continue doing what they are doing. Why do these men continue to hurt us is a questions that sometimes we already have the answer to and don’t even realize it.

The start of 2017 for me was the beginning of finally letting go of a situation I had been dealing with for longer then I should have. For me, cutting someone off and letting go involves taking a extreme measures from blocking on all social media to blocking phone numbers and emails to loosing all contacts with friends and family until I have reached a place of peace. This situation I was in was filled with ups and downs, tears, low self esteem, and a lot of things being allowed on my be half when I knew that I was better then that. There is no better feeling then cutting off a man you’ve allowed to have too much control over things like your feelings, emotions, and decision making. As women we try to become the type of women we say we would never be like but often times we become those women and that is because love makes you do crazy things.

So to all my ladies reading this, we have to move forward by making a conscious effort to not allow things that we shouldn’t even have to deal with in the first place. Stop allowing things from a man who would never allow it if the tables were turned, do not allow these men to have total control over your emotions; take that power back and continue working on becoming the right woman for the right man!

I would suggest reading this book which was recommended by a good friend. It is called Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst. This book is a great read that will help you to make decisions that aren’t not so heavily based off the raw emotions we sometimes deal with and can’t always control

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Never give up on your dreams!

“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand
In life we come to a point where we are almost told which directions we should take to live a life that we find comfortable and not really a life that involves us really doing the things we love. We become comfortable with doing what is considered normal and we end up not chasing after our dreams. Often times it is refreshing to me to meet people who are genuinely chasing after their dreams with such high levels of determination. There are not too many people who really chase after their dreams no matter what people may think or say; it takes a lot of courage to keep yourself motivated to do what you know you are meant to do. Todays motivational feature is the story Quayshaun Weston, also known as Kain, has shared about the journey he is currently on in his life. He is an up and coming artist who makes music we can relate to so I asked him a few questions to get a better understanding of his journey. Here is his story……
Who is Quay? Tell a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m Quay Weston. It’s Quayshaun but people mess it up a lot so I shortened it to Quay. Saves a lot of time and confusion haha. I’m from Pantego NC which is about an hour east of Greenville. I’m from a small town with a small country family so like most I was raised by my grandmother and had to grow up relatively quick. I went to UNC-G where I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Political Science/Pre-Law and minored in Sociology. I’m a member of the ADZ GHOST Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a mentor, activist, social artist (rapper), and avid reader.
Why do you call yourself Kain?
Kain came along as a second rap name for me. A friend from Philly suggested it and I rolled with it. Now as far as my Enoch brand and my overall journey through life, it’s very relative to the story of Cain in the bible as far as finding myself and being isolated/wandering until I could create the empire that I wish to create.
When did you really start getting into music?
I’ve been writing music since 9 years old but I’ve been professionally pursuing and creating music for about 8 years now. I was creating mixtapes and everything during high school with my group , GHOST Ent, and now I’m creating everything solo for the most part.
What motivates you?
My motivation comes from the energy around me honestly. I can say that I am inspired by the idea that my walk in life and my journey would be an inspiration to someone else. I don’t do what I do for others, I do it because I’m passionate about it, but at the end of the day our works and gifts should bring glory to the kingdom of God. As long as you’re not leading people into the dark, your work should at least show the love of god or your faith in it. That’s what I push for. I’m motivated by family of course and wanting to keep them happy and bring peace to their issues, but I can only do as much as I can. I’m also motivated by the problems of the world. They give me the fuel to realize that as much craziness is going on, there can still be positive energy out there to help people and help myself to get through it.
What type of message are you trying to convey through your music ?
My music before is all about my journey through life. I speak from the moment or head space that I’m in right now. My most recent project, black: a story told by kain, is all about political issues and social injustice that have been felt by black folks across the world. That’s where I was mentally when it was created. Before that, The Foundation, was a musical journey through my life and the changes I’ve made as a person. So the message I’m trying to convey is for people to realize their journey is different from everyone else’s and that you have to have faith in that process. Embrace that fear that comes with your growth and overcome it. You have to leave something here for the world to remember…what is that going to be for you?
Which one of your songs is your favorite and why? (If you can’t name just one, name at least 2-3)
My favorite song of mine is probably…Insecure. I mean everybody loves Doggin and American Pimp and Transcendence and Hunger Games or Sandra but Insecure was like the truest song that I’ve ever written. Where I was during that time was trying to explain to a girl that I was insecure too, and guys, we don’t say that often. We’re taught to not express things, which hurts more than it helps. That song is lit though.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you handle them ?
In my entire life my biggest obstacle was the normal…money, support, acknowledgement, network. However, after all of that the REAL obstacle that I was having an issue with was confidence. Once I became confident in my own work and believed that rap was my manifest destiny (EXACTLY what I was supposed to be doing)…things started manifesting themselves right in front of me. I had to accept my path and realize my process and my work is nothing close to anyone else’s and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others because I’m a very unique being. So, most of my own issues were overcoming myself honestly. The other things can be figured out.
What is the end goal?
My ultimate goal is to create a creative arts complex that is designed to shape and mold youth into brands, businesses, and social entrepreneurs. They will come in, create, market, and brand their own products. After they create these things whether it’s music, tech/coding, video, plays, photography, writing, publishing, marketing, or coordinating, they will put together a fully functional event that will demonstrate their abilities. They will plan it, book it, schedule it, set up the entire program, create the promo materials, advertise, and hold the event. It would have to have a outreach factor to it, so we would help them with finding the charity or organization they’d like to donate to or partner with. Ultimately I want to be able to have a team that molds and shows our youth that there are creative processes out there and in order to reach your maximum potential you have to have a space to do what you love. While showing them that, they will be able to generate income for themselves, have income to support them through/during college, and they can employ others/give back to their communities.
What advice do you have for someone whose trying to get their music started?
Don’t make music if you don’t love it. If you’re doing it for money save us some time and stop. Straight up. My main advice would be to love what you do and use your platform to help the overall good of the people. Make good music then give back to your people that are putting you on. Simple. It’ll come back ten fold.
Do you have your hands in anything else besides music?
I’m very active in the community here in Greensboro and neighboring areas. I’m an Omega so service comes first. I am a mentor, we have a mentorship program started at an elementary school here in Greensboro. My team, LGi Dope, book our own shows and hold our own tours. I network and coordinate with activist groups such as Artist4Justice, UmojaLife, UNCG NAACP, Soul Society, and I have my own organization coming soon, the Enoch Coalition.
Where can people go to learn more about you and hear your music ?
Everything is available right from my website, – I have music, videos, photos, you name it (haha, is that still a thing?). You can follow me or reach me and connect on Twitter, IG, Facebook at @callmekain. I follow back and all that so don’t worry about that. I hope you all can check out my latest project black right on the homepage at – DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT ON BANDCAMP, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal etc. You can also listen to everything Kain on my Pandora Radio channel!! Thanks you all! Peace.


We all want to live a life doing something we truly love to do. If you are able to do what you love go for it, stay consistent, and always remain motivated. Anything is possible!

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women

Why do we as women allow a man to string us along?

Often times, as woman, we forget that a man who wants to truly be with you, will simply BE WITH YOU! A man won’t allow anything to stop him or hold him back once he has it set in his mind that he wants to be with only you. You won’t have to question whether or not he wants to be with you, you won’t have to ask him, you won’t have to argue about it, stress about it, and you won’t have to convince him that he should be with you and only you.

It is so easy to forget those things once we get caught up in how much we like someone. We start seeing ourselves with them and imagining how great a relationship would be with them, not even realizing that the person is showing signs of not wanting the same thing we want. I’ve been in situations with guys, who I now know, did not deserve my time, energy, and attention; I ended up staying in situations longer then I should have because I kept allowing them to string me along. I allowed guys to give me a little ounce of hope, when in all honesty, they were really only saying things to keep me around just a little longer. They did not have it in them to tell me that their intentions were not to be with me, even though they had made me feel as though things would develop into something more. 

Often times men will meet a woman and they will do all of these wonderful things to make that woman like him. A man will get so caught up in doing this, that they themselves don’t realize the damage that they will cause once that woman realizes that he does not have the same intentions as she does. Often times a man will not come right out and be honest about the fact that they have been stringing a woman along; often times they aren’t going to sit you down and tell you that they don’t want the same things you do. This is the reason why we as women have to pay attention to the signs; we have to stop staying in situations longer then we are supposed to and make sure we make ourselves fully aware of a guys intentions with us. 

I encourage every woman to be careful about who you give your time to. Allowing a man to string you along is time wasted and that is time you won’t ever get back. 

Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking Barriers

Katherine Johnson, whose incredible contributions to the space program were displayed in the film Hidden Figures, born August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, WV, to Joshua and Joylette Coleman and she was the youngest of 4 children. At the young age of 13 Katherine was attending the high school on West Virginia State College campus and graduated at the age of 14.  Years later at the age of 18 she enrolled as a student at West Virginia State College, a historically black college. Katherine, who took every math class the college had to offer, had quite a few teachers taking her under their wing including professor W. W. Schieffelin Clayton, who is the third African American to earn a PhD in Mathematics.

Katherine Johnson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and french and then took a teaching job at a black public high school. In 1939 she became one of three African Americans and the only female selected to integrate graduate the program at West Virginia University. She made a decision to leave her teaching job and enroll in the graduate program at the University. Katherine decided to take a career path in mathematics as a research mathematician which was not easy for many African American women to enter. In 1953 Katherine accepted a job offer from National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later changed its name to NASA, at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, VA.

Katherine Johnson made a lot of things possible for women in mathematics! She broke barriers and took risks and no matter what road blocks she hit along the way she never let it get in here way.

To read more about this amazing women and the rest of her contributions:


Photo Credit: NASA


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Sneaker Craze Saturdaze 

One of my favorite pair of New Balances would definitely have to be the New Balance 580 and this year they are celebrating 20 years! The New Balance brand had been around since 1906 and throughout the years they have introduced many different models but the 580 model was originally released as a Japan-exclusive sneaker.
Below are a few of the color waves of the New Balance 580! These shoes are stylish as well as comfortable!

Credit: Sneaker Freaker

Credit: Sneaker News

Credit: Sneaker News

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women continue to do the same things and expect different results?

A lot of the decisions you make in life shape the way things will turn out for you. No one can ever force you to do anything and sometimes some people have to make the same mistake multiple times before they fully grasp the fact that it is time for a change. As a woman, we know when we have reached our breaking point and we know when we are fed up but no changes will be made until we reach that point on our own.

In 2013 I accomplished a lot in my life; I became a member of the best sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., I graduated from college, I received a job offer a week after graduation, and I moved and started taking care of myself. While I had all of these great things going for me there was still something that I kept allowing to cause me a lot of tears, anxiety, and sleepless nights and that was a man; a situation with a man that wasn’t even putting forth effort to be in a relationship with me. Time after time I would accept apologies for things I should have never put up with and stuck around even though I knew this was not the man for me. This was a man who supported me when it was convenient, missed out on a lot of my accomplishments, and blamed me for things that were never really my fault. I even went so far as to try to be just his “friend” at one point, even though I knew that was not the answer to a situation I no longer had control of.

I will never forget the day I sat in my closet crying and praying because I was so fed up with the situation and on that day, in January 2014, I decided to stand strong and cut off all ties with someone who did not appreciate me; I decided to stop doing the same things because all I was getting was the same results, which ended up causing me to get hurt. I also decided to take my mothers advice and read a book that she mailed to me and to this day I still tell people that this book changed my life.

January 2014 LaLa Anthony released her book, The Love Play Book, which talks about how she found love and success on her own. I started reading that book February 2014 and I promised myself that I would give any of the suggestions offered in this book a fair and honest shot. One thing that LaLa offers in her book is a 60 day challenge where you spend the next 60 days not looking, thinking, or even trying to get a man. She goes further into detail about it and how it helped her, of course, but for me, coming across not only the book but the challenge its self was the start of me taking back the control I lost over my feelings and emotions.

The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness

I would encourage every woman who has reached a point where they feel as though something has to change, a point where they are ready to take back control over things that should have never been controlled by another person, to read LaLas book! I truly hope that reading this helps someone else and if you just so happen to pick up that book, I hope it brings you to a better place in life like it did for me!

Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Recovering from a loss

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” – James Baldwin

Tomorrow is not promised and too often we take for granted the day to day interactions we have with those we love the most. Loosing someone is never easy, especially when it is unexpected, which makes it even harder to accept. We start to question things in life and start to loose a grip on our faith. Kenyatta’s story about the loss of her love Lawrence and how she overcame the pain, the hurt, and the tears is more then enough proof that you can make it through ANYTHING. I was able to ask her a few questions, so check out her story below and learn more about her, Lawrence, their relationship, and how she was able to move forward with her life after loosing him unexpectedly. This is her story…….

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kenyatta Tynes, most people know me as Yaya. I am from Virginia Beach, Va. I received a degree in business management from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. I currently live in chapel hill North Carolina where I am an agent team member at State Farm Charlotte Weaver agency. 


Who is Lawrence and how did you 2 meet?

Lawerence was my boyfriend/best friend. We both worked at smokey bones bar and grill where he was a bartender and I was a waitress. I didn’t  pay him too much attention until after I was out of another relationship. He paid attention to all these little details about me all he time; when I changed my eye shadow or even when I brought new earrings. Our little conversations became more frequent to a point where I was developing this huge crush for him; I had it bad. I was checking my schedule, as well as his, just to see if we were both working at the same time. Eventually I asked to be a bartender because I wanted a reason to be closer to him. He was such a joy to be around and I just wanted an opportunity  to get to know him better. 

How did he change your life?

Words can’t describe how he changed my life but Lawrence was a breath of fresh air. He reminded me how important it was to live your life to the fullest and how to follow your dreams and ambitions. He helped me remember who I was was as a person, at a time when I thought I lost the Kenyatta I use to be. I remember when I use to look in the mirror and didn’t recognize who I was anymore but he brought me back to life. Our relationship was so fun, a lot of things with him were spur of the moment. We went with the wind, if we felt it then we did it, and everything else didn’t matter. Things would just fall into place as needed. Being with him was like being in the sun for the first time. He made me believe in love again. He reminded me how genuine and how effortless love really is. He was a reminder that if it’s meant to be things will fall into place as they should. 

What did he teach you ?

He taught how to love myself first which is something I struggled with. He helped me understand that I had to live for me too because if I didn’t I could lose myself in everyone and everything else. He told me how laugh through the pain. When I was down or sad that something didn’t go my way I would immediately cry and feel helpless. He was like my super man. He was always rescuing me or saving the day. He always made me feel like there are bigger issues and what I was going through was not worth the tears. He would say,”You’re to pretty to be crying” or “you crying bruh”. He always reminded me that we can always find humor in the situation somewhere so he would always tell me “laugh instead of crying because things will be alright man”.

What happened to Lawrence ?

On April 17,2014, I lost the love of my life to a motorcycle accident. He fought really hard to stay alive because Lawrence was a fighter but the injuries were so severe that he just couldn’t make it. I was waiting for him at our favorite Mexican restaurant to have dinner with him and the guys. I was watching revenge on my phone and drinking my second margarita, when his best friend came into the restaurant and told me that Lawrence had been in a motorcycle accident. For a while I thought it was just his legs; not once did I think it was fatal. The long wait in the hospital ended with the doctor coming into the room where we were waiting to tell us how they did everything they could to save my baby but there was nothing more they could do.  In that moment, I lost my soul. I fell to the ground in shock that the person, I just knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with, was gone. He was my light; he turned my whole world around and in that moment I fell into a dark place. I felt weak and helpless. I was just praying that it was a dream. All is wanted to do was hold him and tell him I loved him one more time. As I looked at the clear plastic bag with his belongings, empty shoes, bloody wallet, and smashed up helmet, was this all I had left. I felt empty. 

What helped you to heal after the loss of Lawrence ?

It was really hard for me to heal. As I mentioned before, I was in a really dark place. It felt like my life was spinning out of control and I didn’t know how to get a grip on things. 

What really helped was my faith in God and my support system. My friends,family, and line sisters were with me every step of the way. Everyday was hard. Holidays were hard. I cried everyday all the time. I cried until I had no more tears to cry. Everything reminded me of him. I even drove past his house just to see if he was home even though I know he was gone. It was hard for me to accept life without him. Greensboro wasn’t the same. I had one more month left before graduation and I was so low that finishing my degree didn’t matter anymore but thank god for friends and family. My friends prayed with me, cried with me, and held me when I needed someone to hold me. They would take me out to get some fresh air and went with me to visit his grave when I was too weak to go alone. I remember that I had to lean on God as well. I may not understand it but it was his will and that everything that happens in this life happens for a reason. Everything we experience and everything we go through had a purpose. It forced me to give my all to him in order to heal. I started praying more and going to church more. It took a year in a half to be okay. 

What keeps you going ? How are you able to remain positive ?

I remember him in everything I do and I think about all the good times we shared. I always smile when I think about the things he use to say to make me laugh or smile. When I’m having a bad day, I can think if a joke he would tell me which helps me to remain positive because I know he is with me everyday. The body has always been a temporary vessel but the spirit lives. Learning to accept the situation also helped me to keep going. The moment I learned to accept it and appreciate his life and all he has done for me is when I really healed and really moved forward with my life. I had to remember what Lawrence would have wanted for me and I know he wouldn’t want me to cry or stop living. He would want me move forward and accomplish all that was intended for me. So when I feel like giving up, I think of him and I look to the sky and say I can make it. 

What did you learn from this? How did it help you grow?

I really really learned and understood that everything happens for a reason; we can not question the plan god has for us. Even though we don’t understand it now, it all works out to benefit us in the end. I also learned that life is short and that it is important to cherish the people in your life because tomorrow is not promised or even the next hour. I had spoke to Lawrence all day that day and it never occurred to me that we wouldn’t have that night or our dinner together as we normally did every night. I learned that I had to live and continue to grow in the way that Lawrence would have wanted  me to do because he always wanted me to happy. In all that I do I remember that if you aren’t happy then your aren’t living and if you’re not living then what is the point of all this?  We have to keep God first and trust him in all that we do. That was the hardest thing I took away from this was trusting God and having faith in his plan. And because I try to live my life that way it has helped me continue to grow and follow my dreams regardless of the circumstances and if the going gets tough I learned to fight though the pain and keep pushing because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

What advice do you have for someone who may be dealing with a situation like this?

The best advice I can give someone is to have faith and pray and trust in the plan that God has for your life. All things work for the good of those that love and trust the Lord and even tho it may not seem like it, your situation is working its self out. The worse thing you can do is get stuck in a dark place so be sure to never let your situation steal your joy. I remember when I was so broken I couldn’t even bring myself to shower or eat and it caused me more pain then good. Let people in and embrace your support system. If it was not for my friends I wouldn’t be where I am today. My friends, my family, and my faith in God is what brought me out of the darkness and into the light. It is when we are at our lowest point that god wants us to reach  out to him the most. I realized that it is those times God allows you to fall into a darkness because he wants your attention and when you finally give it all to him, you will really find your self stepping out the storm. 

Let Tay Tell It

Sneaker Craze Saturdaze

KD 7 Aunt Pearl ….. One of my FAVORITE releases of 2015!

Kevin Durant and Nike teamed up to create this shoe in honor of his late Aunt Pearl. Durant’s shoe releases are usually often related to stories of his childhood and upbringing, but this release is probably one of the most heartwarming. Kevin Durant’s Aunt Pearl passed away in 2011 from Lung Cancer and since then Kevin has done what he can to pay tribute to her. The color of the shoe is white which is the official color for Lung Cancer Awareness and proceeds from the shoe went to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.


Angel wing strap over the laces

Gold and pink accents

Kay Yow Cancer Fund logo on the back of the heel

Click the link below to learn more about the shoe, about the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, and about how you can get involved!