There are thousands of empowering organizations out there helping others embrace themselves physically, mentally,emotionally, and in other various aspects. Developing a movement these days doesn’t take much, considering we have the quickest and most efficient source of all – social media.
25 year old Brittani “Tulip” encountered a few posts on Twitter discussing the despising conduct and lack of support amongst Black women. Instead of scrolling past these posts, she decided to step up and do something about it, by complimenting and encouraging Black girls that she didn’t know following the hashtag #HeyBlackGirl. This immediately sparked a trend.
African American women from all over began randomly tweeting one another positive and uplifting comments and the flourishing movement known as “Hey Black Girl” was born. Below, we spoke to the young woman, the mastermind behind the “positive vibes only” driven movement, discussing its intentions and possible future extensions. Read more about the founder and the movement below from the founder herself below.
Tell us about yourself. We know about the movement, but who is behind it?
I’m Brittani “Tulip”, I’m 25 and I am from Texas. Mother Nature inspires me, music soothes me, menswear excites me & photography challenges me. I’m a huge astronomy nerd, I own more Adventure Time tee shirts than I probably should and I talk to myself in a fake British accent because, why not, you know?
What is the sole purpose of Hey, Black Girl?
The sole purpose of HBG is to focus on and spread positivity. HBG is for all Black Women and Girls no matter your location, financial status, skin tones, body shape, etc. HBG is one huge positive support system. Being positive is something that literally saved my life and I know that it can save the lives of so many others. Black Girls can be positive and support one another, authentically.
We have such a great time with our followers. I personally feel like a Positive Vibes fairy god mother most days and I love it so much. We see so many amazing transformations in the lives of Black Women and Girls every single day, even some Men. We keep up with at least 2,000 of our followers personally via email, phone conversations and sometimes just the simple “Hey Queen, how have you been….” tweet. There are some people I personally talk to weekly, some every month and others every few days, it really just depends on what is going on in their lives. I am an open book and very honest so I don’t mind sharing my personal experiences with others as long as it helps and my partner feels the same.
Was there a specific goal that you wanted to achieve through this movement?
There wasn’t a specific goal honestly, outside of being positive and passing it on to others, I didn’t plan anything at first and I wasn’t expecting things to move so quickly, although I was very confident in the potential. HBG has only been vibin since July 4, 2015 but we are here to stay.
Was there anything that drove you to start Hey, Black Girl?
I was on Twitter one day and I saw a tweet that was talking about how Black girls don’t know how to really support one another without being fake and how she was really tired of seeing so much hate between Black Women. At the time, I’d seen other tweets saying the same thing but no one really talked about solutions. So, I decided to do something about it and told myself I was going to tweet Black girls that I don’t know with a compliment and hashtag #HeyBlackGirl. After about 4 hours, things started moving and by the end of the day, I had thousands of tweets using the hashtag. I was so happy to see all of the compliments, encouragement and love between Black girls, most of them complete strangers. I decided to create a Twitter page for HBG, not realizing how fast things would continue to move. I began seriously planning and decided to quit my full time job working retail in order to give HBG the attention that it really needs. After careful consideration, my partner (Collette) and I decided to move in together and we turned our new apartment into an office/printshop. YES, we print & package each and every single order one by one.
Apparel available at heyblackgirl.co
In the beginning, my partner was working 12 hr days at an embroidery shop and then coming home and printing orders for about 4-5 hours. I was up answering emails, keeping the social media accounts moving, and packing orders. We still operate this way for the most part but my partner quit her job a few months ago so that she can print full time for HBG while still having other customers of her own. We share every other task outside of Twitter (my thing) and printing shirts (her thing). Things haven’t been easy at all, we’ve both sacrificed our main passions to give HBG our everything. There have been plenty of tears & sleepless months….YES MONTHS but we don’t regret a single thing. We just want people to know that our hearts are in this 100% and we are preparing so much more. Every order goes right back into HBG. We have soooooo much planned, we are going to have a great time & we can’t wait to personally meet everyone.
I notice you have some weekly hashtags that your followers can respond to and use to interact, can you tell me about what those are? Like #MelaninMondays and other things like that.
MelaninMonday wasn’t actually created by HBG but we do support it along with many other hashtags and Black Girl movements. These hashtags and movements have been vital to teaching Black Girls how to love everything about themselves from skin color to hair texture and beyond. Black Girls are teaching one another how to market themselves & connect to the right people. We are looking out for one another, It is all so great to witness.
Out of curiosity, how do you think a Hey, Black Boy page would do? Do you think it would have the same impact? Why or why not?
In order to really spread positive vibes, every Black Man and Boy must be included….gay, straight, trans, etc. I believe it can happen if the right Men put it together. I have been asked to start one so many times but I do feel it is best for Black Men to run a page or movement targeted for Black Men. We do fully support our Black Kings on HBG. Anything is possible, it’s all in a matter of how intentional you are.
In your own words, what does it mean to be a black woman?
Being a Black Woman means exceeding expectations while setting the standards. There was a time when I thought being a Black Woman wasn’t important or even interesting. I was so used to being teased by other Black Girls that it hardened my heart for a while but I have grown up so much & learned so many amazing things about myself and other Black girls. We are so strong, we are so influential, we are so beautiful, we are full of love & light. We are Black Girls, we are Black Women, We are Black Queens. Positive Vibes ONLY.
Follow the movement on Twitter @Hey_BlackGirl
Follow Brittani herself on Twitter @ispeakmenswear