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BIG MAMA SAID: “Act Like You Want To Be Until You Are Who You Want To Be”

A Third Reconstruction Must Begin Now

Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s lessons are always appropriate for the time.

When I first heard them, I ignored them without the power I give them now. I hear “Big Mama” in other people all the time. This one Jury duty visit uncovered another jewel from the Big Mama’s Playbook. And the underlying wisdom call hit me hard while preparing to be a juror.

Here is what resonated with me:

“Too often the powerless are at a great disadvantage in the courts because they have not the influence nor the advocacy to receive justice. God hates it when the powerful treat the powerless unjustly, and he will not let them get away with it.

Proverbs 25:11

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver. Is it a literal gold apple set in silver framing, and ornament, or is it the golden variety of apple on a silver plate?

While there is no way to know for sure, it is meant to be seen as something wonderfully made, You have shared with me and us all your journey and what I know for sure, it is my personal testimony that you’re justice personified, You are more than enough thanks, You are Faith over fear, You have the Footprints.

My biggest regret was that I had to hear her speak wisdom and I took IT lightly until this visit to the juror pool where Life repeated them to me again before Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s playbook resonated. Let me remind you that we lived in a house built by my grandfather and grandmother.

Born in 1906, “Big Mama” was right in the midst of the era of lynching, Jim Crow and segregation.

Right there in the middle of that, she knew what justice was. She was my Ida B. Wells Barnett. She had me look at the acts of Thur-good. Today, she could be compared to modern influencers like Maxine, Ann R. and Barbara J.

“Big Mama” wanted us to know that no matter what knocked us down, we could get back up and be. Her playbook recipe implied we do not have the power to get others to change unless we must gather ourselves up and be around people who support our best evaluations and pathways to change.

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 where she had no power, yet she rose up.

She instilled in us to “Fake it till you make it.”

Imposter syndrome is a feeling of unworthiness but it just speaks to our feelings not our deeds. which really means, act you like you want to be until you are who you want to be!

What I learned in that courtroom was 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 make an impact at

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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