Ketanji Brown Jackson Heard Her!
I am still amazed at the great lessons our elders leave in plain sight.
Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s lessons were nonstop. My celebration is that Big Mama still raised us all in a house that nurtured our safety, entertained our thirst and replenished our fragile egos. Born in 1906, Big Mama whole world was a post-reconstruction existence that lived through Jim Crow, the lynching era, town burnings, church bombs; so many barriers to existence that in today’s space would seem heinous and ungodly.
Yet, Big Mama preached for us to be honest and accountable. She would always say.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say”.
She reinforced it as a staple practice in the household. She told us that God would hold us accountable on our day of reckoning. She would then quote scripture: “Jesus said, ‘And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak’” (Matthew 12:36).
Lucille “Big Mama” Allen wanted us to know that no matter what others did to us or said about us, our spoken words become the measurement of our moral compass.
She was really telling me to get my GPS right (God Positioning System) because our words show others our heart. Big Mama was right.
If you have a hard heart, it will show in what you say. If you have a bitter heart, you will talk about it, because bitter people love to spread it.
Black people’s meanings are in what seems a constant struggle to find peace and breathe without the pressure of institutionalized racism forcing us to bend, sway, and disintegrate to buckle.
What you feel will come out in your words. Yet Big Mama told us If you have a heart that is filled with grace and love and wisdom from God’s Word, then your compass is Powerful beyond measure! Barry White said, “practice what you preach.”
Today we see the glory of these mantras in the Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
The hearings give the public a glimpse of the challenges faced by women of color and those considered ‘outsiders’ that choose to stand in the gap to serve others.
In a confirmation supported by over half the country, Judge Jackson is saying what she means. Every word she speaks showcases her nine years of experience on the bench and she clearly explains in great detail how she applied the law to the facts in any given case.
Big Mama and Judge Jackson’s strength tells an American story of Black female strength! Amen!
It has been said that on an average day, from morning to eve- ning, we speak enough words to fill a book with about 50-60 pages.
In an average year, 100 books consisting of 200 pages might be written.
I wrote about this before and I will say it again, Big Mama was born in a time when women could not vote or lead or own businesses.
Big Mama’s journey yesterday is a book for today. I am honored to carry her book inside me.
Big Mama because of you, we have a book of discernment.
I stand with Judge Jackson! What is in your book, let me know at TerryAllenPr@gmail.com
Terry Allen is an NABJ award- winning Journalist, PR professional and founder of 1016 Media, the charity - City Men Cook and Dallas Chapter President of NBPRS-DFW