Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s lessons are always appropriate for the time. When I first heard them, I did not give them the intense reverence I give them now.
I hear Lucille “Big Mama” Allen in other people all the time. This one ‘change people” statement is resonated by communication powerhouse, Eddie Reeves, all the time during our Zoom calls.
My biggest regret is that I had to hear her speak wisdom and I took IT lightly until another influencer repeated them to me again before Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s play-book resonated. Let me remind you that we lived in a house built by my grandfather and grandmother.
Born in 1906, Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s was right in the midst of in the era of lynching, Jim crow and segregation. Right there in the middle of strife, she was an influencer. Today, she could be compared to modern influencers like Michelle, Kamala, Gayle, Oprah and Iyanla.
Lucille “Big Mama” Allen wanted us to know that no matter what knocked us down, we could get back up and be the purveyors of change and prosperity.
Her playbook recipe, “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you,” was saying we, when we do not have the power to get others to change then we must gather ourselves up and be around people who support our best outcomes.
Be mindful that Big Mama was a Black woman who lived in the 1900s. I saw what Big Mama experienced years after she had spent decades suffering from issues that would make today’s woman falter.
She had no power, yet she was the perfect example of a Black Girl Rocks role model.
In June 2017, the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality released Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, a report that presented the findings from our quantitative analysis of a form of gendered racial bias against Black girls: adultification.
- This bias is a stereotype in which mainstream Americans view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, devoid of any individualized context.
In other words, adultification bias is not an evaluation of maturity based on observation of an individual girl’s behavior, but instead is a presumption — a bias applied generally to Black girls.
- I saw what Big Mama experienced years after she had spent decades suffering and it shocked me then as it does now. So now with the lawmakers of the land overturning Roe V. Wade, I see millions of women mostly non BIPOC taking to the streets to protest.
A small representation of America has made the decision that the majority of US adults disapprove of and about half of the US call the decision a step backward for America.
So, we see millions protesting. Big Mama would say “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.”
Big Mama knew she could not publicly protest but she could vote. So, while protests are good, it is time to use the voting power to change people.
We need you to vote. Big Mama because of you, I will vote.
I hope you will understand just how crucial it is to incubate empowering relationships. Email me if you can change people and make an impact at TerryAllenPr@gmail.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org