As you all know I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, but like most folks from the Deep South when I was a teen I couldn’t wait to leave. After living in Berkeley, California; Seattle, Washington; and Louisville, Kentucky I returned to my hometown two years ago. At first, I hated it. Then I realized I wasn’t giving the city a chance. I’ve spent the last few months getting to know Birmingham and the people in the city who are working hard to make it a beautiful place to live.
This bring us to our new Georgia Mae feature, Birmingbelle of the Week. What is a Birmingbelle? A Birmingbelle is a woman living in Birmingham who is redefining the modern Southern belle. She knows that being a belle is about being an empowered woman who is working to uplift other women in her community. Each week I’ll feature a Birmingbelle on this blog as a way to celebrate the women who are helping make Birmingham a great place to be.
Our first Birmingbelle of the Week of Tiffeny Curier, a proud Birmingham native. Tiffeny is the founder of BPositive Magazine, an online publication that seeks to highlight the positive things going on in Birmingham and surrounding areas. She’s also using her local connections and contacts to raise money for survivors of the devastating storms of April 27. Read on to learn more about Tiffeny.
Why did you start BPositive Magazine?
I started BPositive because for years, I have been hearing so many negative characteristics about the city of Birmingham and after a while I began to believe what I was hearing. People were saying, “You guys are only known for violence and the First 48. There is nothing to do in Birmingham but make babies. You will never go far in your career because of the demographics in Birmingham. You will never succeed in a city that is still so racist.”
I also went through trials in my life and I thought the only way to ever find happiness was to get out of Birmingham. One day I woke up and had that aha moment. The reason I was so down was because of my mindset and not my surroundings. I had to change the people I was associating myself with, as well as soul search and truly find the unique essence of Birmingham. As I began to adopt what I like to call the “positive campaign” that’s when doors began to open for me. I now get to experience all these amazing events and people in Birmingham and now I feel like it is my responsibility to share that with the public.
Tell us about the tornado relief event you’re hosting and what inspired you to organize it.
On Sunday, June 5, 2011 BPositive will be hosting a private jewelry sale at Charming Charlie in the Summit. The event is scheduled to take place from 6 -8:30 p.m. There will be prizes awarded throughout the night and light refreshments will be served. Everyone attending the jewelry sale will receive twenty percent off their entire purchase that night. Tickets into the private jewelry sale are $25 and can be purchased online by going to bpositivejewelrysale.eventbrite.com. All the money raised from ticket sales will go to families affected by the recent sweeps of southeastern tornadoes.
I was inspired to coordinate this event because I had four family members to lose their homes as a result of the April 27 tornadoes. Pratt City (one of the hardest hit areas) is the community I grew up in and so many of my neighbors and friends lost their homes as well. My home church was also in the path of destruction so I knew I had to do something.
What keeps you in Birmingham? What do you love about this city?
The growth potential in Birmingham keeps me here. I view Birmingham as a blank canvas waiting for the world’s next great artist to paint it. We are a small city bursting with talent that needs to be discovered. Atlanta lookout your neighbors are on the rise!
What would you like to change about the city and what are you doing personally to make that change happen?
If there were one thing I would love to change about Birmingham I would have to vote on the mindset of some of its residents. I think a lot of times in our urban communities we don’t feel like we belong, but we must realize everyone has the same opportunity and it’s up to you to capitalize on it.
Are you a Birmingbelle? If you would like to be featured in this column email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.