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MY TRUTH: Who should be the Person of the Year for 2022?

By Cheryl Smith

Giving you time to identify and make a case.

Who decides and what is the criteria?

Looking back at previous Persons of the Year featured in Texas Metro News, there was a common thread.

They were all change agents. They were fearless, focused and led by their faith!

Texas Metro News wants to recognize people who are game changers, history makers; folks whose life’s works are on the right side of history.

Do you know anyone who fits the bill?

Are the ones previously chosen controversial? Possibly.

Rev. Yvette Blair Lavaillais tackled the issue of abuses in the church.

Not only did she speak up, when folks tried to silence her; she wrote about the issue.

Then there was Judge Tammy Kemp, who is fair and tough even though there are defense attorneys who resent her toughness when she is dealing with their clients.

And then she presided over a case where after the verdict and sentencing she is addressing the family of Botham Jean and the convicted murderer, Amber Guyger, speaks to her and asks for a hug. You would have thought all hell broke loose, and mostly from people who go to church every Sunday and constantly say, “have a blessed day,” or “I’m saved.”

Ironically there were judges saying that Judge Kemp could have given a tougher sentence —although the verdict and sentence came from the jury and she couldn’t change either. Still you had all of the Facebook School of Law grads commenting.

Sadly some were calling for her removal from the bench when prior to the “hug” folks were ready to put her on the Supreme Court! She started getting hate mail and threats.

But Judge Kemp stood in her truth and while she has been vilified by people who can’t recall the name of one of the many judges who have made BAD rulings to the detriment of Black people; she has been praised internationally by folks, including Mr. Jean’s mother!

Then there’s Roland Martin, who reached new heights with the growth of his digital program that he had launched, nurtured and grew into a respected news and information source that proved that people of all ages, persuasions, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, etc., were thirsting for truth and you could find it by tuning in to Roland Martin Unfiltered on the Black Star Network. Not only did he bring the experts, he brought the funk.

And last year, it was Coach Prime, Deion Sanders who has changed the game and the way folks are looking at and embracing HBCUs. Coach Prime is showing how discipline and a structure can benefit folks, although there was a time we knew that!

Which brings me to my truth.

If you can’t stand up for people or things you believe in, what good are you?

And, if you have an opportunity, a bully pulpit, or a platform that can be used for good and you don’t do the right thing; you’ve wasted a precious gift. These four people are doing just that and they are on the right side of history.

I’d love to hear who you think the Person of 2022 should be. Email me at
You’d better come strong tho!

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