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As a member of the Allen Household, Big Mama’s simple proverbs motivated us as well as some of these wisdoms also came from many mothers in my community.

My soul is warmed and motivated to know so many of you understand what Big Mama’s PlayBook meant. So I know you also had a Big Mama.

Big Mama would speak and make a way out of no way all the time. She was grounded by Isaiah 43.19 “ Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” She strongly believed in the worst of issues, survival is an issue for the UTMOST!

In the process of making her own “way out of no way,” Big Mama drew on faith, strength, and support from a variety of sources – their families and communities, a higher power, ideas from the past, other people and places, and within themselves.

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We all lived there in her house and her wages were around 50.00 a week. Big Mama showed me how to make a way out of no way. She was the proof that Africa Americans have exemplified a bounce-back spirit that is fundamentally American by believing that change is going to come, even in the worst of circumstances.

Our community is in an intense round of events and needs that have to have the right reaction. Over the years and especially during the two pandemics, African Americans have acted to change and build their lives despite tremendous obstacles. Similarly, racism has taken many forms in American society, as have the solutions and strategies African Americans have developed to combat it.

I am personally lifted by Big Mama teaching and experiences as I experienced my own shift in employment and saw the fight for my own justice and the infusion of turn behind a blatant lie!

I had to rethink the notion of inclusion. I begin to see that it is the responsibility of African Americans to fight for the freedom as granted to them and to view freedom, along with its privileges and responsibilities, as deserved by them. The cost of winning true freedom has been a continuous struggle, with victories as well as defeats.

Endgame: I am not defeated, I am rerouting. I am glad to be a Big Mama Griot. Lucille “Big Mama” Allen would not have it any other way. So, do you have a Big Mama blessing? Email me today

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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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