Straight from the Horse's mouth

Posted by Word Camel on February 28, 2002

In Reply to: Meaning posted by Word Camel on February 28, 2002

: : What does it mean when someone says, "it takes a village to raise a child"?

: It expresses the idea that to raise a child well requires a measure of collective adult responsibility for setting limits and looking after children, regardless of whose children they might be and whether or not the parents are around. It also implies a reciprocal trust of other adults by parents.

: Hillary Clinton popularized it by using this in several speeches both while Bill Clinton was in office and now, during her senate career. It is, allegedly, an African probverb - though I'd not put it past Washington spin doctors to 'invent' proverbs as required.

Hillary Clinton actually published a book with the same title. This means I have slandered the spin doctors. HC gives her understanding of the phrase in the introduction to her book:

"I chose that old African proverb to title my book because it offers a timeless reminder that children will thrive only if their families thrive and if the whole of society cares enough to provide for them."