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My grandmother, Lucille “Big Mama” Allen, spoke this all too well and many times during her lifetime. I know when you see this you are thinking Big Mama is telling you to accept your stature in society, in any organization, even in your family, etc. and do nothing more. Right?

You have followed me and Big Mama for a while now, so you are sure she is saying, “Be Quiet, Be still and shut up!” Right? No! Not at All!

Big Mama meant the exact opposite. She was telling us if we see something not just right, then be the person who steps up to the plate and be the person who changes things. She worked from a special God place. It was clear to her mind that God will give powerful in- sight to us, when we let GOD pull us out of the shadows and into the light of His love and grace. She would then whisper in my ear, “Son, know your place” and she would SHOVE me into the situation because she knew I could change things!

What a woman! She knew I had a voice. I am reminded of “MY PLACE” every time I see that T-shirt that says- Dream Like Martin, Lead like Harriet,

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Fight like Malcolm, Think like Garvey, Write Like Maya, Build like Madame CJ, Speak like Frederick, Educate Like Thur- good and Challenge like Rosa! Big Mama knew my place.

She helped me confirm for sure that we currently have a timely opportunity to be the Lions that our relatives and descendants were when they stood up during less “WOKE” times. Big Mama was certain it was more than a notion to fight for fairness during her time when “know your place” meant “Be Quiet, Be still and shut up!”

Our community is in an in- tense series of actions and discussions to prevent equity, and the current battleground is in the schools. We do not have to go far to see evidence of the attempt to unbalance the progress we are making in educational parity. BIPOC students have been suspend- ed from schools because they challenged racial hate.

School administrators, teachers and parents are targets of threats and bullying. Students are subject to racial slurs, graffiti and social media blitz while education stakeholders ignore the act. School board elections have been targeted to make sure individuals are elected who will block diversity, equity and inclusion. The hunters have made the lions forget their place.

In the words of Vanzant, “What is it that would make a creature as fierce, majestic and powerful as a lion is, subject itself to the intimidation of a man, a whip and a chair? The lion has been taught to forget what it is.”

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I am asking all LIONS to know your place, step up and help stop the erosion of progress.

Join your PTA. Attend your school board meetings. Challenge every policy and/or defeatist strategy! Lucille “Big Mama” Allen would not have it any other way.

Email me at terryallenpr@ if you are a Lion and you want to unite!

Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at

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Written By

Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at


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