Ratibu Jacocks left a good legacy for us to live by and remember.
It was almost 40 years ago that I was first introduced to then William “Bill” Jacocks but never had a serious conversation with him until the late Senator Reuben Ayala had Bill talk with me about his re-election campaign.
After we finished talking about my support and endorsing Senator Ayala for re-election Bill turned the conversation to my teaching Sunday School Bible classes and belief in Jesus. I, of course, seized the moment to share with him the joy and knowledge I received from teaching the Word of God and gave him a few personal examples of what the Lord had done in my life. I remember closing with, “Hey Bill, try him for yourself.”
I forgot about our conversation until a year or so later when he approached me to say he was teaching Sunday School because of our conversation and that Wilmer “Amina” Carter would not give him the time of day unless he joined the church. I believe that it was Amina not dating him unless he joined the church that led to him teaching Bible classes. It was a good decision on his part because he found joy in the Lord. Now he has gone home to be with him.
Ratibu was the kind of person that took on a leadership position if he joined an organization. He was not going to sit on the sidelines to let someone else do what he knew needed to be done. Ratibu did not say someone in the community needed to start a Martin Luther King Jr Breakfast, he started one. He believed in being an independent entrepreneur because it gave him the kind of freedom to speak his mind on issues that were dear to him and his community.
When a speaker would come to Westside Action Group (WAG), Ratibu would always take the lead and ask the questions everyone else was thinking but too afraid to ask, and because he had found the Lord he could ask the questions with a smile on his face.
Ratibu loved politics and campaigning for people he believed in for office. I loved working with him on political campaigns because he knew what it took to win.
I lost a friend and our community has lost a member that cannot be replaced, but what he did will live on through his works and make our lives better.
Hardy L. Brown