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BLACK CARD: Big Mama Said: You Got to Have Some

If We Do Not Cross Generations and Collaborate, We Will Fail!

“Big Mama’s” Playbook was always deeply rooted in biblical structure and presence. Yet it was also immersed in the colloquial norms of our culture with informal everyday language that she used was steeped in her multi-cultured experience of being African, African American and Native American. She was BIPOC!

Now remember that colloquial culture is similar to slang. It is shorthand used to express ideas, people, and things that are frequently discussed between members of a group. Unlike slang, it is often developed deliberately. Skin in the game had two meanings for Big Mama.

First, to have skin in the game means you have an active interest in the success of something. If it fails, it affects you in some way. For example, workers who have stock in their company have skin in the game. So, they may work harder to make it successful.

My diverse career spans over decades. I have been a Chief Development Officer for a media company; founder of various nonprofits; I have been a brand & event management specialist for multiple business owners; and for 20 years I have successfully served as a J.E.D.I (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Expert for clients from Fuji to Facebook.

I have been a servant leader on the Boards of several organizations such as NABJ, NBPRS-DFW, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), University of Dallas, City of Dallas- OCA, Pastor Richie Butler’s Project Unity’s Together We Dine, TMC Media podcast personality, Bestselling author and more.


Those appointments have been very beneficial as I have been also recognized as multi-year honoree – Who’s Who Dallas · Who’s Who American Colleges and Universities, awarded “Best 10 Events of 2015 Manager by, 2015 Award “Best of the Best of Professional Executive, Recipient -NABJ Salute to Excellence Winner, Top 50 Movers and Shakers Awards, Best of Dallas 2019 Public Relations Company of the year and so on.

Big Mama said that has earned me skin in the game! But nothing has been more rewarding than being my grandmother’s servant and voice with – “Big Mama Said”, which began here and has expanded to a book project. See what happens when you reach out to others. Thanks, Cheryl Smith!

FYI, in the phrase, “skin” is a synecdoche for the person involved, and “game” is the metaphor for actions on the field of play under discussion. According to Stack Exchange, Warren Buffett raised the bar on the phrase when he raised money with 10 doctors for his first fund as he contributed the first $100.00 and called it his skin in the game.

All I can add is that during the 23 years we have executed City Men Cook and its mentoring program, I have learned about so many talented young Black men under 40. At Evolution Academy Charter School and Barack Obama Leadership Academy (B.O.M.L.A.) I have been blessed to see their tech savvy, their hunger for knowledge and their extreme talents! Are you good at TikTok?

What I know for sure is that those young men have “Skin in the game” too. In summary, Skin in the game also means to convey that these men also have some equity and/or financial risk in any kind of venture, but also have some kind of emotional investment.


So, paying honor to my colleague, Pamela Purifoy, we have to cross the aisle and open the doors to all of us who have “Skin in the game” or we will fail. Thanks, Big Mama!

Terry Allen is an NABJ award-winning Journalist, DEI expert, PR professional and founder of the charity – Vice President at FocusPR, Founder of City Men Cook and Dallas Chapter President of

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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