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Cheryl's World

MY TRUTH: That Last Goodbye

Thomas Muhammad and Cheryl Smith
Thomas Muhammad and Cheryl Smith

Thomas Muhammad had been ill and dealing with health issues for several years but I was not one for prematurely writing his obituary.

And Thomas wasn’t either as he worked right up to his last days, dying peacefully in his sleep on Monday, August 15, 2022.

He left an indelible mark in so many places and with so many people and I will remember him and his works; as well as through his writings, his words.

Which brings me to my truth!

Thomas was an organizer, an activist and a student who was always learning and sharing knowledge.

He loved life and while he could be serious and focused, he loved to laugh.

He was proud to be from Dallas, and he wanted folks to know that Dallas did have activists who would challenge the status quo and were fearless in advocating for causes and people they believed in.

Several years ago, I reached out to Thomas Muhammad to begin writing a column addressing issues of importance to our readers.

For the past decade, he has been a contributing writer for I Messenger Media’s Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger.

Through his writings, Thomas found much joy, often laughing at his own “clever rants.”

In the future, we will share his last column.

The beauty of Thomas was that whatever he supported, even if he was standing alone, all by himself, that is exactly what he would do, STAND!

He also liked to host events where he celebrated people in the community who he felt were deserving.

He definitely believed in giving flowers when the recipients could enjoy them.
I was the beneficiary of at least two such “honors.”

One time he gathered folks in the community as he called attention to my efforts as a “forever” mother to my sister’s four children.

As someone from the village who had to put in his time babysitting or transporting the Three Live Crew Plus 1, he was well aware of many of the challenges I faced.

Then in 1999 he held a community event to celebrate my victory as I was elected to the board of the National Association of Black Journalists. There were some special people who assembled to show me love; like the late, great Hon. Kathlyn Gilliam and journalist extraordinaire Lawrence E. Young.

Yes, Thomas provided memories for so many and I am so glad that we will get the opportunity to do the same for his loved ones as we come together in the future to celebrate his life, triumphs, contributions and sacrifices.

Stay tuned for more information as plans are underway to give friends, family and colleagues as well as anyone who feels he touched their lives in a positive or productive way will have an opportunity to celebrate his life with like minds.

Hopefully if someone didn’t with Thomas, they will realize the importance in the future of sharing the love, or whatever feelings in that moment because we usually don’t know when that moment will be the last one.

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