By Terry Allen
Thanks to all of you who took a stance, read my column and called me asking me, “Should my organization declare and publish a statement about the death of Tyre?”
My answer is YES.
This is not us and we must create a universal clarity that we want focus and change. I don’t think I will get much disagreement, when I showcase “Big Mama” rules out of her Playbook.
I witnessed an overflowing joy on the back porch or front porch, where my grandmother, Lucille “Big Mama” Allen poured into her three sons and three daughters, 16 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren, 38 great-great grandchildren, seven great great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and bonus family members with simple, Bible-based logic for us to use all throughout our lives.
Standing in her “hands on hips stance,” “Honey, you need to be quiet, be still, be focused and get clarity, Amen!”.
She left legacies that became part of lifetime lessons. She taught me how to seek knowledge, recognize support and to express gratitude.
Today, I can truly believe that being optimistic and able to find victories in small daily things are skills that can be learned, but it takes conscious effort. Big Mama would say, You will know how God sends you what you ask for (Jeremiah 29:11) if you focus!
What I learned about clarity: Clarity is a deep sense of knowing and recognition that expands beyond yourself. The feeling, the vision, the sense, whatever it may be, you have it in your bones.
If you’re clear, you don’t, won’t, and cannot doubt what you know. So, getting focused for me is a daily thing. I begin to absorb and know that clarity and focus is rooted in being selfaware!
If I seek guidance, understanding, clarity, or peace of mind, I must first master the art of silence. Like Lucille “Big Mama” Allen said “be still, be quiet and go with God to get focused!”
My #BlackHistoryMonth focus is out of another Sister-friend’s playbook, Iyanla Vanzant. She said,” When we start the day with a spirit of joy, openness, peace and love, we put the universe on alert, we want more of the same.”
Focus is real. In the movie, Book of Eli (Denzel Washington) They were trying to destroy all the Bibles – Denzel had one – When they finally took the Bible from him, they found out that it was in Braille. They were angry yet Denzel dictated it from memory. We also discovered he was blind! He was focused, and I need that kind of focus!
So, readers, I heard you! So yes, we must all make a statement on the death of Tyre Nichols and put in action steps to create system wise change to a systemic issue in our culture; Here are a few steps.
- Demand and mandate a new, effective reform in our police departments. My mentor Amos F. Wilson called the police, the biggest gang in America who can legally kill you without remorse or repercussions. Reform the culture!
- Create a public statement confirming the injustice and allow the community to address this incident with “authentic and unapologetic” conversations in churches, town halls and classrooms – no disinformation allowed.
- Protect and invest in moment that address our mental health and resources for our community, and also the same resources for those who are charged to protect and serve our community.
That is a start. So, let’s get focused and get clarity.
Lucille “Big Mama” Allen would get busy, and so should we! If you are ready contact the paper and request a presenter, speaker and facilitator. Or email me at email@example.com
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