One moonlit night, during a hot summer month, I was taking a walk on the beach. The beach was near where my ancestors were captured, beaten and stolen from our motherland. They were put on ships and made to crawl, sleep and live on these ships. They were sailing to unknown and foreign lands. They did not go willingly of course! The people who appointed themselves to be the "masters" of this deed, decided to put them in chains-binding them wherever they found a place to connect the chains on their bodies!

As I was walking on this beach, I came upon a round object, that was made of wood. It was held together by some sort of iron, copper or steel brackets. As I passed this object, it became clear to me that the object was a "barrel". To some, it might appear to be a bucket. ( we will call this a "barrel," as we are well aware of it's meaning, aren't we? ) inside and outside of this barrel, I saw crabs crawling all over it, appearing to be either "fighting for territory," or "pulling each other down" as each one ravenously tried to get to the top.

I tell this story due to the many times that I have witnessed "folk" treating each other in a similar manner. As we journey towards the New Millennium, must we continue to be like those "crabs in the barrel! is this how the "masters" got the idea that we as a people would never do anything to change our condition but will rather allow this behavior to continue until the end of time?.

My brothers and sisters, men and women, teenagers and children alike, we at The National Association of Juneteenth Lineage Inc, (NAJL) believe that the intellect of the ages must be replanted in our hearts as well as in our spirits, as therein lies the real truth! A truth that is as ancient as the very barrel still lying on that beach in the motherland! Rather than pulling one another down, let us begin to lift each other up; lead when we are called upon to lead by the masses, rather than attempting to build up our own egos. When we have become a part of an organization seeking to give us knowledge, let us become workers rather than deceivers and destroyers of one another! Stop gossiping amongst ourselves, for there is no positive energy nor change in unsolicited challenges!

We at NAJL challenge each and every one of you to re-design the barrel. Make it new again by putting all of our hands together to get out of the barrel as a team! We look forward to your joining NAJL, a place where we used to live-come to re-claim and live in it again.