When Twitter user @NanasiaMusic recently recounted her experience at a Walmart store after noticing two Black boys who were about to steal deodorant, she had no idea how poignant her selfless reaction would be to understanding the importance of creating a "village" around our Black children.
Nanasia actively demonstrated the familiar African proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,' when she noticed that the boys, ages 13 and 14, were being watched by Walmart security. She acted without hesitation by paying for the item that the boys had taken and confidently walked them out of the store for a lesson in love that they won't soon forget.
These two black kids were stealing out of Walmart Security was watching them So I told them whatever you got in your pockets right now walk with me to the register and don’t question me I copped the deoderant they were about to steal for them I couldn’t let them go to jail...— Silent but Loud (@NanasiaMusic) June 11, 2018
Once outside of the store, instead of immediately scolding the boys, she began to ask them questions about why they were stealing. Turns out, the boys’ mother died last year and now they (along with two other siblings) were living with their grandmother who collects public assistance. They shared that they did not want to "bother" her with this need for deodorant before they headed off to practice.
Nanasia replied with a Kendrick Lamar lyric to lift up the boys’ views of themselves even in the face of great struggle.
I said do u listen to Kendrick Lamar he said yes he’s one of my favs I said when he said I have royalty in my DNA he was referring to all Blk males It’s beneath you to steal anything you hear me the little one hung his head low and said yes ma’am— Silent but Loud (@NanasiaMusic) June 11, 2018
At that moment, Nanasia became a part of the boys’ village when she not only gave the boys all of the cash that she had in her wallet, but also her phone number for them to keep in contact with her as a self-proclaimed "new auntie/big sis"
"I'm just from the generation where adults didn't pull out camera phones and tape the demise of a young Black male... they took the time to step in before it got way out of line ... somebody did it for me so it was only right to redirect them,” she shared on Twitter.
After receiving praise from nearly the entire internet for her actions, Nanasia later shared that she's "rapidly developing a way to pay this moment forward to other children who need our support." Read her full tweet below.
Hello all 🙏🏿 I’m working on it pic.twitter.com/QMlK9BIfa5— Silent but Loud (@NanasiaMusic) June 12, 2018
In today’s uncertain climate for the fate of young black and brown bodies, one poor decision is very rarely the catalyst for a ‘teachable moment’ and a chance to do better in the future. Nanasia’s quick and compassionate thinking is a call to action to us all. Our children are some of our most vulnerable yet most valuable resources and we must take the time to show up for them.