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The Black Card: We Have to Get Busy Living or Busy Dying. WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE NOT?

By Terry Allen

“We have to get busy living or busy dying. Who do we think we are not?” That quote is from the iconic movie Shawshank Redemption starring Morgan Freeman. The statement is symbolic of the story of a decades-long quest for redemption and freedom. Did this movie affect you in any way? Coronavirus has raised its head again yielding its reach into Texas again and everyone is scrambling to create, cope, and respond to the return of the impact of COVID-19. Which one would you choose to do? Get busy living or busy dying? I choose to live! My intention with this column was to facilitate and support our FWBN family of readers and community in harnessing our inherent power to deal with COVID-19 and the racial disparities that exist which have been highlighted by the media. I want to help and seek your help to navigate this shift that has happened. We are resilient. We can flatten the curve. And we can sustain our families! We can build our businesses! How? We must live without fear or feeling helpless to COVID-19, social injustice, and economic losses. Guess what? We have the power! Unfortunately, power is collective. We cannot win alone

In Shawshank, the survival in the prison was collaborative. Freeman and Tim Robbins’ characters’ survival and success came from their collaboration. They worked as a team to get free. They had a plan. We have to collaborate at all levels to survive BOTH pandemics. We must become spiritual warriors who stand together to block the spread of the virus, prevent the losses in our community, and create new income. Family! Beloved! Please stop and tell yourself: YOU MATTER! We can no longer suppress our anger. Let’s collaborate on how we process the emotions stemming from racism, job loss, bearing the burden of hatred in this society. There are humans in this world that would have us believe we are not worthy; they say that we are unlawful. They say that we are threatening. So, let’s control the narrative. We know where our heart lies so we have to provide resources to survive.

Here is my list: 

• Advertisers in this paper have showcased what they have to offer and how they are helping the community. Support them with your dollars.
• Reach out to your inner circle and help them to practice self-care. Because we cannot help others if we do not help ourselves, be calm first.
• Call your husband, wife, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, and tell them you are ok. Tell them “I need you” and “How can I be of value to you?” Or “I am proud of you.”
• Make sure you have the tools to keep your mind right, keep your body healthy, and keep your spirit on the high road.


 As we seek power and faith to guide our steps in breaking down the systemic bias that seeks to tear us down, DO NOT let them break your spirit. Who do you think you are not? Celebrate and appreciate yourself! High Five! Right?

Please email me at the paper and tell me you are with me.

Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist and entrepreneur who serves as the Media Related Representative on the National Association of Black Journalists Board of Directors. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media

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