With the October being domestic violence month, this story could not have been published any sooner. Every day someone, male and female, is a victim of domestic violence, yet the issue still seems to be swept under the carpet as if it is no big deal. It not only happens when you’re actually with someone, but it can very well happen when you are in a co-parenting situation as well.
I recently was at a Target in San Bernardino printing out a few pictures when a young Hispanic family walked out, and they didn’t just casually walk out. They walked out and made sure everyone noticed their current situation. To make matters worst, there were two young kids who couldn’t have been no older than 6-years-old. The young woman was heard and seen yelling to the man, who appeared to be her baby’s father, and telling him to “Not touch her”, “Are you really going to hit me in front of my kids”, and “Then be a man up and give me your number”. They stood outside the door for a few seconds before a couple Target Associates intervened prior to the young, separated couples and kids walking to the car.
As I walked outside of the Target, the lady was parked in the first parking stall just a few cars down from my car. I overheard her saying that the guy owed her a lot of money and she was telling someone to hurry up and get to her.
That statement right there made it apparent that his was a case of child support gone wrong. The two small children were looking just as confused and terrified as ever. Coming from the next lane over was an older Black woman, who appeared to be in her late early to mid 50s. She stopped and overheard what was going on before approaching the young woman in an attempt to calm her down in front of the kids. After seeing this incident and interviewing the author of A Survivors Celebration of Life Beyond Domestic Violence, I just had to tie this scenario in as an opening statement to this interview.
A Survivors Celebration of Life Beyond Domestic Violence is written by Tahirah Ogletree. Olgletree is an African-American actress, print model, author, filmmaker and advocate for domestic violence. Originally from Cleveland, Tahirah moved to Phoenix, Arizona to pursue her passion for film and acting. Over the years, she has been featured as a commercial print model in nationwide magazines and catalogs, starred in Internet commercials, and landed a role in a 2008 SIS TV Production. In 2011, she was rated as America’s top-aspiring African American woman, and was featured on the prestigious cover of the Blow, Hair & Fashion magazine. In 2012, Tahirah established her own film company,O’Tahirah Films, LLC. She wrote, produced and starred in two short films, Battered But not Broken and Phoenix Finest in Blue. In “Battered But Not Broken,”
Tahirah played a battered woman who finds the strength to take back her life from the deadly grips of her abuser. She wrote “Battered But not Broken” to raise awareness on domestic violence and how rapidly it’s becoming an epidemic in so many households across America.
A Survivors Celebration of Life Beyond Domestic Violence is dedicated to every victim and survivor of domestic violence with the purpose of empowering, inspiring, educating, and helping to sabe and change lives. It is intended as a celebration of the beauty that all survivors have within, and is a reminder to everyone that there is life beyond the deadly grips of domestic violence. This empowering coffee table book is filled with inspiring quotes, tips on how to detect the early warning signs of domestic violence, tear-jerking testimonials from survivors around the world, Tahirah’s own autobiography, and a list of domestic violence hotlines with 24/7 access to highly trained advocates for immediate support.
In conjunction with her book release, Tahirah’s clothing line debuted with the launch of two t-shirt designs. The first derives from her original art pieces called “ Power Beyond the Fist.” The striking image translates two powerful messages. On one hand, it’s a collection of 52 inspiring phrases that help domestic violence victims understand they can overcome through faith in God, encouragement, forgiveness and a great support system. On the other, it sends the message to males that real men don’t hit women. “The Nubian” shirt hits the positive message home to victims and survivors that there is no excuse in settling for a life that’s less than one is capable of living; that there is true purpose in life beyond domestic violence. It is necessary to rise above and become the best version of oneself. When worn, these high-quality shirts act as strong messages to society, supporting the theory that we can break the silence of domestic violence.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ogletree where she chatted on what led her to writing the book, her next projects, and how to spot our early warning signs that you may be in an abusive relationships and how to end it.
“True beauty comes from having a relationship with God and allowing Him to transform you into a person who can inspire others to become successful”— Tahirah
For those interested in purchasing the book and want to learn more, please visit shop.otahirah.com. Also you can keep up with and chat with her via her social media channels via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
View the book trailer below: