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Check Out Tyra Coleman’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyra Coleman.

Hi Tyra, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
First I want to start off by saying that I’m very appreciative that this magazine wants to feature me, it’s crazy because I’m not from Baltimore nor do I live in Baltimore. I was born in Washington D.C. and I’ve been in Maryland since I was a little kid. I live 30 minutes outside of Baltimore in Harford County where since the age of seven is where I was raised.

I remember my love for writing starting at a very young age, from writing stories and fake books as a child in my room to joking around with my friends in the neighborhood and creating funny little rap songs. The power of words and their use in various forms has always excited me and intrigued me.

It wasn’t until middle school that writing poetry began for me. From learning about Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and so many other great black writers and how they were able to express themselves and formulate masterpieces with their words and the way in which they did it. My love for rap, more specifically 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s hip hop in which there were a plethora of rap artists who had poetic flow and cultivated deeper meaning in their music with it; ie Tupac, Common, Lauryn Hill, and even in today’s time artists like Wale.

For me, writing has been a form of therapy for as long as I can remember, a true love and passion of mine, something I feel has been embedded in me. And so many years later at the age of 21, I can still say I love it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
What I’ve learned is that there’s never going to be a “smooth road”, as much as we may wish there was that’s not how life works, and my inspiration for what I write about comes from the things I’m dealing with and experiencing.

One thing that I will speak on and that has been a struggle for me since the 6th grade is my mental health, around that age, you’re starting to come into yourself, you’re being exposed to different things, different emotions and feelings are coming up and you don’t know how to deal with them, you’re also confused, and for me, I had no idea how to describe what I was feeling and going through internally.

I closed myself off, I wasn’t as social, and I sometimes had thoughts of ending it all, and these are things that even today I still struggle with. But at that age, I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to and I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, the only way I was able to express myself without being verbal was through writing and poetry, and my love for music. Those were my only escape and my own form of therapy at the time and even today, after being diagnosed with depression two years ago it’s great to have another outlet.

Writing was something I kept hidden and didn’t care to share with anybody for a very long time due to embarrassment and fear of letting the most vulnerable side of me show. But obviously, now I’m more open to the world than ever about it, and I love sharing my gift with people, but it took me a while to get here and I still got a distance to go.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a poet, writer, spoken word artist, podcaster, and 2x self-published author working on my 3rd collection of poetry set to be released this year. I self-published my first book at the age of 19 completely by myself, and since then I’ve been working on perfecting my craft and getting better at what I do.

I’m most proud of my resilience and my belief in myself, I could have easily let the lack of support and lack of a platform or followers deter me from writing books for fear no one would buy them, but I haven’t. Yes, I get discouraged sometimes but I can’t help but feel a ball of fire in me, I know this is all going to pay off one day. And I don’t just mean monetarily, if I can just reach and touch 2 or 3 or 100 people with my work that will be worth it because I’d know I at least made some type of positive impact. But honestly, I’m always thinking and dreaming big so the goal is to one day turn this into something astronomical and leave behind a legacy.

What sets me apart from everybody is that I stay true to myself and my values, I’m authentic, and I don’t care or want to be like everybody else, I’m just ME. We live in a world where everybody wants to be like everybody or be somebody they’re not just for attention and status or to appear a certain way. Everything is fake nowadays, from love to people it’s all fake. People don’t care about integrity, they’ll do whatever just to get whatever. Granted no one, and I mean no one is perfect or excused from flaws, we all make mistakes and are going to make mistakes and not always make the right decisions, but for me, I want to move about in this world with the purest intentions. It’s enough negative and evil stuff going on already in this world and I refuse to add to that and be a part of that.

I’m also an old soul, I’m not like and I’m not into things most people my age are into. Give me a book and some Marvin Gaye in the background and that’s a good time for me. Ultimately all I want is peace and to find happiness in every aspect of life, even when things aren’t going well. I just want to be a light in this world.

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