Blackboard Experience: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Some of the stories that I share are for inspiration, overall uplifting and celebration of things that people may do in the black community that may get overlooked. I try my best to bring light to these great contributions or achievements from people. However, some of my stories comes from absolute outrage or an experience that really compels me to share what I see, think and thought at the time that this was going on.
ATLANTA WEEKEND OCT. 30 – NOV. 1
On Saturday, Oct. 31, which was Halloween, I went to a Halloween party. This party was nothing special. It was just normal everyday costume party. Nothing ridiculous or out of the ordinary happened. It was my experience stopping at the gas station that struck a nerve in me. I stopped at the gas station to get a pack of gum. As I was walking into the gas station, I noticed there were about 5 to 6 black kids hanging out around and in the convenience store.
Now, to some people, this may not be a big deal but to me, it was an extremely big deal. This black male who was between 17- 21 years old by my guess asked me if I smoked weed. Initially, I thought that he was looking for weed and then I realized that he was trying to sell me weed. The first time he asked me I did not turn around because I did not think he was talking to me. Then again, when I was leaving out, he asked me again. I answered short and abruptly,
As I was walking out I noticed two girls were part of the five people hanging around. I was not able to determine if the cashier was black or some sort of foreigner. However, I did notice that the glass between him and I was at least 4 inches thick.
These are some questions I begin to ask myself:
Why is this kid in a convenience store owned by a foreigner hanging out in the store and not buying anything and trying to sell me weed? It is 9:00 pm or a Friday night. Isn’t there a School Halloween Dance, football or basketball game going on? Isn’t there a girl you could take to the movies? Couldn’t you be at a job? Isn’t there something else you could be doing with your time? Also, what were the girls doing there? Are they trying to hang around the guy that is selling weed? Is that cool?
How did this become something to do for this kid? What motivates him to hang at a store away from home? Is he hanging away from home because his parents will be upset at home if they caught him selling in the neighborhood? Is his parents even around? How can’t this kid be doing 100 other things?
When did this become acceptable? When did people who own stores allow people to loiter in and around their property selling weed? Doesn’t that affect their business? Are they scared to tell this kid something because he may cause harm to them?
What should I have down? Should I have tried to talk to him and ask him his situation and offer him help? Would he have looked at me driving a Toyota Camry and said, “What the hell will I listen to him for?” Would he have gotten upset with me if I tried to interfere?Well, I don’t know because I walked out without a word or even a look. I went to my party and although this was on my mind, I still had fun and followed my normal routine.
Here are my questions to you:
Should I even be complaining about this considering that I did or said nothing?
Are we responsible for this disturbing behavior?
Can this pattern of behavior be stopped and if so, how long will it take?
Lastly, the collective thoughts of people who may think about these things are extremely important to me. If you have any comments or concerns or anything on this matter, please comment because it takes a village to raise a child.
"It takes a village to raise a child" originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb "Ora na azu nwa" which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. The Igbo's also name their children "Nwa ora" which means child of the community. It has been in existence in Africa for centuries.