Author: Lee Clark Allen

At this point of my life, I'm a very blessed young man! In sharing some of my stories and thoughts, I hope that you gain as much from them as I have. Enjoy the journey.

The Power of Symbolism and Metaphor: The usage of them towards Social Justice

When Jesus Christ asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter’s replies, “Yes.”
Then Jesus repeats, “Peter, do you love me?”
Peter slowly replies, “Yes, I do.”
Lastly, Jesus utters his closing question, “Peter, do you love me?”
Peter, being profoundly touched, emotionally responds, “Yes I do.”
Jesus did not have to question Peter’s love ever again nor does Jesus condemn Peter. That wasn’t the point of the questioning. Simply, reflection, relationship, and personal growth were gained.

The power of symbolism and metaphor

“American flag/America, do you love me,” marginalized people ask. Quickly, the marginalized recognizes that they didn’t impact positive change with that question to its recipient. Why?! The American flag and Country (as land) cannot provide the verbal response needed to ignite growth. Therefore, the marginalized people redirect their question to the Americans who inhabit and inherit the land and who can verbally speak.

These Americans reply, “Yes we love our marginalized people.”

The marginalized asks again, “American policy makers and life changing decision makers, do you love me?” The America policy makers and life changing decision makers reveal that their “love” is merit and brotherly-centered, so if you have the credentials and favor their resemblance, their love is ignited, in which, they do not know merit and brotherly-centered love is not the deepest love one can show another human being or they have just forgotten Jesus’ definition of love.

Yet, these Americans reply, “Yes I do love you if you’re willing to conform or assimilate.”

With such response the marginalized should have given up and felt hopeless, but they hope for the best when Hope is hard to fathom due to the present situation.
Therefore, in faith, the marginalized asks, “American people, do you love me when you see blood flow out of me unjustly?”

Unlike Jesus’ most loyal and faithful disciple being able to give a sincere and quick answer to Jesus’ final question, the American people are still brainstorming their answer on whether they love the marginalized.

But when they do answer, I hope they would have the mental and emotional capability to acknowledge their silence as Peter acknowledged his verbal silence and physical denial in the heat of the moment of the injustice happening to Jesus Christ. With such acknowledgment, it enabled him to partake in a life changing conversation with a victim of injustice, which enabled him to see the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual affliction suffered by the victim. That then led to action, making Peter transform into a genuine advocate for agape love and social justice.

I’m one of the marginalized. Do you love me America?

I can’t take your silence; do you love me America?

Do you…

“The World is Turning” by Lee Clark Allen

“The World is Turning” by Lee Clark Allen

Verse 1

Charlie don’t go || down that road

Charlie don’t go || down that road

Charlie don’t go|| down that road

There are Lions || Tigers and Bears


I know that God || gave us the world

He gave us the world but the world is turning

Turning against you || Turning against me

Charlie don’t go down that road || Ooo Oh Ooo Oh

  • Verse 2
  • Trayvon don’t go || down that road
  • Trayvon don’t go || down that road
  • Trayvon don’t go || down that road
  • There are Lions || Tigers and Bears
  •     Chorus
  •     I know that God || gave us the world
  •     He shared His Power but the world is turning
  •     Turning against you || Turning against me
  •     Trayvon don’t go down that road || Ooo Oh Ooo Oh
  1.             Bridge
  2.             Cuz yo back’s gon be aching || Yo hands gon be shaking
  3.             Yo blood’s gon be pumping || Mom’s heart’s gon be breaking
  4.             We’ve seen these things before || Wish to see these things no more
  5.             But we will halt progress ||  If we don’t take these damn roads
  6.                   Oh Lord have mercy || Oh Mary get your Son
  7.                   Johnny put down your gun || Billy, don’t you run
  8.                   Oh Lord take this cup || Take this cup from me
  9.                   If you gonna strengthen me || strengthen my grip for this cup

Verse 3

Martin go || down that road

Obama go || down that road

Ladies go || down that road

Though there are Lions || Tigers and Bears


I know that God || gave us the world

Gave us power so we have to do something

Something for you

A little something for me

Something for you

A little something for me

People || on this road

People || in a turning world

At Last

God says to me, being young, gifted, and dusty,

“This one time I will articulate why you’re loved by me.”

“Why Lord” like a child I interrupt.

“Why to why I would articulate this time or…” the Lord anticipated the upcoming interruption.

“Nall Lord. I can forgive you for not always talking while you are simultaneously completing one million and one errands, so don’t worry how you articulate what’s in your mind. Instead, nigga, oops I mean Lord, my nigga dammit, let me just get to the point. Why you love this nigga?”

“…” the Lord sits with His thumb and index finger pinching his chin like how a guitar holder pinches a guitar neck. He knows my monologue isn’t over.

“…As mentioned before, I admit I am young, gifted, and dusty. Too young to be consistent in well living, too gifted to completely be vulnerable and reliant on you, and too dusty because not all of this dust was by your design. This authentic self is my offering, yet you love and say, ‘Come closer.'”

“…You have an authentic self and you are aware of it. That you would offer me that is the expression of your love. At last, you have arrived,” God says and then nods.

“Your authentic self siphons my love,” God confesses.

Here Now to Son Part 2


I have been watching your activities: your service to community building; your service to the people of the community; your service to yourself and your dreams; and your service to God. And son, all I want to say is, “Negro, do not be like your father who ignores the relics in the room that really count!”

Ms. Vanessa Nettingham has been that relic in the room; in which, no BlackmenBlackminds gent should forget.

She is like “water to a vase,” “grease to bacon,” “Michelle to Obama,” “Sheba to Egypt,” “Milk to Cereal,” “Emotions to hearts,” “thought to brain,” “letters to manuscripts,” “Clothes to hangers,” “Hope and Faith to prayer,” and “profit to labor.” Now, Negro, I could go on and on  and on and on, but Negro you are my son who has a diploma and a couple of degrees on top of that. Otis Redding sings, “You don’t miss your water, till your well runs dry!”


Tell Vanessa Nettingham Happy Valentine’s Day even if she is not your boo! Hasn’t she been supporting the BlackmenBlackminds’s cause? Isn’t she acknowledging that some black men are doing their best in restoring a black man’s image through her acknowledgement and endorsements that some black men are making a difference? All of that love cannot go unnoticed! As one cannot deny that the sun is in the sky, we men cannot deny the emotional support Vanessa’s rays of support are producing. As the sun grants my son’s Vitamin D, Vanessa, thank you for offering them vigorous determination. In my day, a million men marched to Washington to stand in solidarity. I cannot begin to fathom how many brave women cultivated those men to accept their calling and march.

Vanessa Nettingham, if you are growing weary in your efforts in supporting my Negro sons’ journey in restoring the portrait of a black man, it is only because my sons are not thanking you enough for being the water and bucket in the well, for being Michelle, for being grease to bacon, for being clothes to hangers, for being faith to prayer, the single mother to successful entrepreneurs, for being hope to broken images, and for being close enough to care.

Because of your time and awareness Vanessa, especially when guys like to be noticed too, my son will acknowledge and honor the fact that BlackmenBlackminds has its on Coretta, despite how he feels about me due to my absence.

It’s like a sin for him not to honor you; it’s a sin for him not to honor himself. Thank you for your faith in my Negro sons! Thanks for taking on more than the role of just being a “rib”. You are living, breathing, active, and are a necessity. Importantly, you are heard.

A father,

Here Now

Here Now to Son Part 1


I love you. Comparing a person who only seeks the presence of God once a year to me who have only told you that “I love you” once of your earthly life, I understand your will to forget every black man that resembles me.

I understand your will to turn away from personified mirrors: the black young male English teacher who draws closer though you push away; the black young male counselor who embraces your silence though he is enthralled by his anticipation of your voice; the black young male cashier who still says yes sir though he is older; the black young male preacher who agrees that you should feel anger; the black young father whose daughter you are courting; all versions of me; all versions of you.

To stand before you, like you, I have to encounter all the things that remind me of you: the black young English teacher who is being a better father than myself; the black young male counselor who has learned more of your secrets than myself and even the power and beauty of your silence; the black young cashier who respects you because he knows that you are royalty more than me, your father; the black young male preacher who gets to accept that he cannot solve all of your problems but he could stand in solidarity with you before heaven; the black young father whose daughter you are courting that gets to be the grandpa that the grandchildren would rescue from a nursing so that he may die with loved ones.

Son, let me die for you to all attempts of self-sabotaging. Your future is still cocooning; therefore, butterfly of my loins: do not turn away the black encyclopedia that reads and shares its commodities; complete your healing; let those that would like to be ointment their work so you could be lulled to sleep; accept that you are the foot that lands which demands creatures to respond; wise men bowed down to Jesus, wise men will bestow honor onto you; be angry at a father and his absence but don’t sin against your help. Remember the teacher. Remember the counselor. Remember the preacher. And son, forgive me or you lose your African Queen and forfeit your future dynasty; disrespect one father you will disrespect two fathers-the father whose daughter you court and the father you are capable of being in emotional health.

In time, do all of these things–in time.

Your dad,

Here Now


A chasm.

A universe before our eyes. A mistake we cannot revise. Water that will never freeze in the desert heat of night. A truth that will not restore trust or count as truth. The loss of ever seeing night or day, because you are hemmed up like Samson: caged; eyes plucked out; night and day’s sounds muted; vulnerable you are and vulnerable you will be; when is parole in this life sentence?

Night laughs. Day cries.

“No, I was not like David and sent a man to die”
“No, I was not like Martin Luther King Jr. and stressed out of this world.”
“No, I did not resist gravity as I was pulled in.”
“Yes, a man does perish without vision.”
“Yes, a black man mostly die in two places: in streets, on stages, balconies, and in sheets.”

“Woe unto me; for I am a man of unclean lips.”

Honesty reaches ceilingless and core.

Don’t Count Me Out

Ladies and Gentlemen,

What song(s) can you think of that conveys the theme of “Don’t Count Me Out!” These can be songs we have grown up with or new songs that we have heard on the radio, vocal or instrumental.

I would love to hear from you. And if you are brave enough,  write a couple of sentences of how that song falls under our “Don’t Count Me Out” theme as a reply to this entry.

Here is an example of what I’m looking for:

“Aint to Proud to Beg” by The Temptations

Why? Because the man in that song has humbled himself to recognize what he has in his lady, don’t count a man out who is “ain’t to proud to beg.”

Much Luv

Lee Clark Allen

Conundrum of Desire

I will begin with two poems I wrote. Enjoy and much luv!

Conundrum of Need

How can I

Ever blame you

Legitimately for not helping   for forsaking me?

Please consider, “How could you ever trust me when I have withheld desires?”

Conundrum of Connection

Harry loves Mary, and she’s aware

Emotionally he is fragile as fresh loose leaf–

Lethal when it leaves someone with a

Paper cut.

Meditate on Harry and Mary.

Everyone, how risky is it to be aware?

If this post speaks to you, please know that you are not alone. Do you face difficulty in expressing desire for help? “Yes,” the choir sings! Have you gauged what the difficulty is that is preventing you from using a helping hand this time? Some people go through the litany of responses, like “No, but yes, but you won’t understand, no I can’t just put my finger on it, yes the scalpel can curve it out but then something would be exposed.” Commonly as surgeons of our identity and fate, we have become skilled at dancing around the questions that make us the most vulnerable. Ultimately, your age, gender, race, religion, occupation, work experience, intelligence, etc. does not exempt you from needing a helping hand or responding to the question that sparks vulnerability, “Can I assist you with anything?”

Receiving a helping hand is similar to how our lungs cooperate with air. Though the quality of air matters tremendously, our lungs appreciate the ability to function and thrive on the opportunity to be functional , like how kids desire a gift at Christmas and how people strive to be wanted and needed by others. And fortunately, our lungs are wise; we can trust that they will communicate whether they are inhaling blessings or instant destruction for their entire body. Similar to how lungs aid us to breathe, a helping hand has the function of allowing a living organism to fulfill its Earthly and spiritual obligations, which are to be alive and work. Does this train of thought aid an individual in becoming a little more receptive to a helping hand? I am not sure, but it is the effort that counts. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, is it understood how the quality of the helping hand has a tremendous impact on the quality of life and productivity we are capable of demonstrating as we move forward? It may be totally understood, yet still ignored. And that is okay though. As a crawling infant completes his or her rites of passage in becoming a walker, people will become more inclined in completing the rites of passage of seeking and latching onto the helping hand.  An important component of the rites of passage of seeking and latching on to help is the vulnerability piece. If infants can get through their bumps and bruises as fragile and vulnerable as they are, so can we.

Concerning the quality of the helping hand, I find it wise to select helping hands that are driven by agape love rather than hidden agendas. It is my desire that we recognize that there are helping hands waiting for us to latch on to. Please note that even your own hands qualify as helping hands for yourself. By waking up and loving yourself until you find more support is an act of giving yourself a helping hand. For those who are rightfully cynical, I have considered your rationale. Addressing complacency and conformity concerning this matter is needed. Here are statements I have heard from some cynics: “My daddy, my mother, my uncle, my aunt, etc did not make it an habit to ask for help, so this explains…”; or “There are so many odds stacked up against me that prevent me seeking help or anyone helping me, therefore why make the effort.” In the first example, it reminds me of a verse that sounds like this, “People perish, without a vision.” Due to some individuals’ internal and external factors, specifically their personality or their household/community, they excuse themselves because of handling being vulnerable well. As mentioned earlier, although “people [can] perish without a vision,” some people should just be tired of being a statistic that does not represent him/herself or their community well. Concerning the second example, I am reminded of the times where my own problems have distracted me from doing anything about them. In both cases presented, here are my two nuggets that can keep you from becoming another statistic: First, please realize that “We do not have to conform to the choices of our relatives or be chained to their free will and not our own;” and second, please accept that “The world guarantees people two things: 1.) an individual will always have enemies; and 2.) despite his or her enemies, this same individual will always have someone who loves them even if they have not met these people of support yet. Using a comic book and American pol culture reference, the infamous Batman is known for having his fan club. Even his counterpart, Joker the Nemesis of The Dark Knight, J-Man has his bestowed crew as well. In accepting that Help, at times, is only delayed, but always in the same stratosphere we dwell in, that leaves us with hope.

As I close, if you are not feeling a spiritual reference, I excuse you from the conversation at this point. I do not want spirituality to be a stumbling block from pondering how the previous information could possibly impact your life positively. In love, thank you for tuning in as I construct a narrative that I, one day, can return to for guidance and hope. Lovely people, live well! When a helping hand is presented to you, take it so that you can get back to functioning effectively so that others may be blessed by you.

For individuals who have remained, this whole writing experience and subject matter have reminded me of how God gave Eve my rib and what that means to me as it pertains to this message. When pondering the whole process of getting an individual’s desire of help met, I have come to recognize how gut-wrenching it can be because of the vulnerability [openness], the risk, and of the gut wrenching courage needed to act. Every time I have expressed need, I have had to accept that I am giving a remnant of myself to the supporter, whether that remnant being a piece of my vulnerability, resources, or time and energy. Yet, reflecting on Adam and Eve, in rain and shine, they needed each other like yin and yang. Lungs need air. Most humans need sex. All humans need connections. All currency needs objects in which it can purchase. With all of these pairs existing in our universe, can we be a little more receptive that even in our prime time, we need helping hands. Likewise, even in our darkest hour, we need helping hands. Therefore, brothers and sisters, live well because you may be the helping hand someone near you may need. Lovely people, live well! When a helping hand is presented to you, take it so that you can get back to functioning effectively so that others may be blessed by you. Do not be the “holier than thou” individual; but instead, be and remain a “child of God.” When has a child ever refused help, when they have humbled themselves and noticed their need?

Glory to Glory

Words of the great Frederick Douglass

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

Lee Clark Allen’s reflection of Douglass’s words as it pertains to his life and aspirations:

To work is to breathe. To work well is to breathe easily.

Because I am aware of these truths, I work harder, think critically, learn willingly, pray harder, celebrate others so that I may be comfortable in celebrating myself, love forever, and forever ask for help.

To struggle, do not distract me too much so that I could miss God and his Son standing beside me in the mist in affirmation. Agitation, help me build character and patience so that I lack none. To the plow and the callouses on my hand, help me leave tracks of a true pioneer so that I cultivate another individual’s faith in the process. To the hard ground that yields resources, help me cultivate and expand my own faith that hard things can yield the Earth’s greatest blessings and resources. To thunder and lightning, help me lessen my flinch in the face of adversity and help me cast the light you cast, lightning, as I am planted in my city on a hill. To salt, don’t let me get dehydrated! To the awful roar of any situation that can be vexing, train me to welcome you in, but still have total authority over my actions. Because if there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Closing with Langston Hughes’s “Harlem,” he pens, “What happens to a dream deferred?” The blessing is that, despite the struggle, the dream is still present. Accept the struggle and acquire the dream! Happy Holidays everyone, and much love!

Lyrics to “Fragile Garden” performed by Lee Clark Allen; written by Patrick Lee Clark

“Fragile Garden” performed by Lee Clark Allen; written by Patrick Lee Clark

(The melody is sung with a slow to moderate groove, where its musical accompaniment is a church organ/Rhodes piano)

Old man old man/ will always have something to say

Young man young man/ already thinks he knows the game/ (he knows the game?)

Old man old man/will always have plenty of change

Young man young man/ already claims he’s rich in fame/ (rich in fame?)

But old man’s heart has fallen apart/ oh, how many lifetimes?

what does young man’s charm/ have on old man’s scars?

Old man says, “He won’t know everything in her heart”

Old man does know that each man plants seeds in her heart/

her fragile garden

Tell me how it feels/ to be loved/ by a queen

Tell me how it feels/ to plant a dream

Young man, don’t you wanna be loved?

Just plant a good dream

Young man, don’t you wanna be loved?

Just plant a good seed

in her heart, her fragile garden.