I am so proud that I had a strong, caring, resilient and loving grandmother. Lucille “Big Mama” Allen would be an Instagram and TikTok sensation trending over everybody else if she were alive today.
Big Mama’s lessons are always appropriate for the time. The great thing about “Big Mama’s “left back” lessons is that wherever I go you tell me you are reading the column and you too had a Big Mama just like me and she re-stated over and over again the same pearls.
When I first heard my Big Mama-isms, I did not give them the deserving reverence I give them now. I am so glad I get to hear Lucille “Big Mama” Allen’s in other people all the time.
When I recall this latest from her playbook, “his grace is sufficient for you because your weakness is also your greatest strength” I am reminded of this passage as it overlaps with my historical moments I had with the Historian John Henrik Clarke, a mentor and leader. During Dr. Clarke’s time with me he stated that our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses. He said when you find the strength of a people look on the flip side and you will also find their weakness, He said we are fighting and voting over issues in this country and we have forgotten that we are descendants of the richest and most expensive piece of geography God ever placed on this earth! Africa! Big Mama would say we would have to practice thanksliving.
Biblically speaking, Big Mama was saying to me that God spoke: “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Clarke was “a scholar devoted to redressing what he saw as a systematic, racist suppression and distortion of African history by traditional scholars” He said that African American greatest strength is our humanity and great capacity to strangers and it becomes our weakness because in that humility we failed to ask the ‘visitors “what is your intention in my house?
Clarke and Big Mama both stated that our weakness is why we lost our way. Dr. Clark said our loyalty systems and our cultural continuity has been destroyed by institutionalized racism because we failed to ask “why?/what is your intention?” to my people.
He said we as anBlack family are arguing about something we do not even know what the original issue was and during great capacity to strangers and it becomes our weakness because in that humility we failed to ask Thanksgiving we are fragmented by the weak side of our strengths. Clarke would say that is why we have our 400-year “Helluvacost.” We let our house go without a recovery plan! We have forgotten to be thankful to those who are like us and those who are us.
I am not trying to take away any culture, religion, race or gender struggles as we all have crosses to bear.
In the words of Historian John Henrik Clarke, “I have no issues falling to my knees to honor, weep for the great losses in the historically recorded losses.
I stand with every loss and all I ask that you stand with me and weep, pray and honor for my more than 121 million ancestors who we lost.” That loss exhibited the worst atrocities visited upon a people. So, it is written that every man has his Kryptonite yet the kryptonite-emancipating-codex lies in the corrective and historical recall of our journey and to be thankful to those who look like us.
So, it is time we take a look at our thanksgiving and check and see if we are thanks living. Go be thankful and tell me what you learned by emailing me at the paper.
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