African American Proverbs | Third Eye

African American Proverbs | Third Eye

Every shut eye ain’t sleep. Every goodbye ain’t gone.


Well, maybe my Nana didn’t coin the aphorism – and I may not have understood it then, but I remembered her words today. And the meaning became apparent when a group of investors from the r/WallStreetBets forum on the Reddit website took down a well-financed hedge fund. The hedge fund ( an investment group that can legally make money from Other People’s Assets) was allegedly trying to cash in on GameStop, the video game retailer. The hedge fund that I’m not going to name here was allegedly attempting to short-sale GameStop stock. Except Redditors stepped in and started buying up shares sending the stock price up. Ironically many of the investors used the Robinhood trading app to buy. Redditors beat the hedge fund managers at their own game in David vs. Goliath fashion, causing the hedge fund to lose millions if not billions of dollars. The Robinhood mobile app and et al. halted trading on GameStop and others targeted for short-sale transactions, citing market volatility. (How convenient – smh)

And that brings me back to my grandmother’s saying and a saying my numbers-playing grand-aunt used to warn me.

“Every shut eye ain’t sleep”
means someone is always paying attention to the world’s shenanigans.

Maybe it was hubris, but the hedge fund managers ignored the number one rule of investing – pay attention to market conditions.
Meanwhile, news anchors on every cable station warned the Redditors they could get hurt financially – which brings me to my Grand Aunt’s warning:

Don’t play the numbers (market) with scared money. You’ll lose every time.

Grand Aunt

This African American proverb means if you can’t lose the money, don’t play. Clearly, the Redditors were playing with money they could lose. Hallie Jackson, an MSNBC news anchor, interviewed a pastor, Justin Speak, – and asked him was he afraid to lose thousands of dollars? He reminded her he only invested $35 – and if all his paper earnings went away – he’d still have lost $35. He believed it would be money well spent to knock Wall Streeters down a couple of notches to remember their humility.

You can check his interview on twitter at

If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it is a social media news platform founded by tennis great Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian. Thank you for reading, ~Mel