National President's Corner

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For our ancestors, African proverbs offered wisdom, truth, and even comfort in one sentence. “No man is an island.” “A single bracelet doesn’t jingle.” “Two heads are better than one. “It takes a village to raise a child. “These proverbs expressed our connectivity as a people and the fact that everyone needs help from time to time. But the proverb that for me imparts both wisdom as well as an important plan of action is “Each one teach one”.

The ever important “each one teach one” proverb dates back to slavery when oral proverbs were particularly important since our ancestors relied on word-of-mouth communications almost entirely. Of course, during slavery our ancestors were denied an education by slave masters who sought to keep them in ignorance in order to keep them under control. But ever so often there was a “kind-hearted” slave master or the disobedient wife or child of a slave master who in fact taught a slave to read. And, so the “each one teach one” proverb meant that it was that slave’s duty to teach another slave to read.

In more modern times, “each one teach one” also stated as “each one reach one” reflects our continuing duty as African Americans to help address broader concerns and ills in the community and to share information with one another. And, that is how I see my duty within Blacks In Government and indeed why I share this proverb’s history with you here.

The Honorable
Shirley A. Jones, Esq.

National President'S Corner

But, beyond my individual duty, I hope that every BIG member, in fact every person, reading this message today believes that “each one reach one” is our internal call to arms. And, as ambassadors of BIG, I exhort each of you to share information about BIG with colleagues, friends, and family members so that every current, former ,and prospective BIG member understands the broad array of mentoring, networking, training, advocacy, and community based services that BIG offers. So, if you believe in BIG as I do and if you believe there’s truly strength in numbers, let’s make this bracelet jingle!

Honorable Shirley A. Jones, Esq.
National President

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