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Don't split the pole

Posted by Michael S. Becker on December 06, 2005

Several years ago I worked with inner-city African-American families from Chicago, Illinois. When I would take walks with them and an obstacle was in the way (i.e. a telephone pole, utility pole, flag pole) it was important that the group walk together around the pole and not separate. They would often say "Don't split the pole." What is the origin of this phrase?