Every now and again, social media provides some distraction from the daily divisive politics and racist rants. Such was the case of a photo snapped at a Georgia high school football game showing a white woman snuggling a Black child in a tight embrace. Many on Facebook couldn’t get enough of the boy’s innocence.
In a Facebook post, Star Balloon-Bradley said she was enjoying a football game with her nephew, Isaiah, at Lowndes County High School in Valdosta, Georgia, two weeks ago when the little tyke approached a random woman and sat on her lap. She said the two “were talking like they knew each other.”
Their encounter lasted all of 20 minutes before the boy’s new pal had to leave, as she was meeting up with her daughter at halftime. It wasn’t the last time the fast friends would see each other, however.
Balloon-Bradley said that on Sept. 8, Isaiah spotted the woman again and didn’t hesitate to walk over and say hello.
“Isaiah walked right up to her smiling … crawled in her lap and laid his head down on her shoulder,” Balloon-Bradley wrote. “She welcomed him with open arms. This lady patted and rocked Isaiah to sleep like he had given birth to him. It was the sweetest!!”
Worried that her nephew was inconveniencing the woman, later identified as “Ms. Angela,” Balloon-Bradley said she kept asking if she needed to take Isaiah off her hands. However, Ms. Angela refused, saying it was “no bother” and that the little boy was her “new friend.”
“She then went on to say she only has one child who’s 15 and moments like this are priceless!!!,” Balloon-Bradley recalled.
She added, “With all of the racial tension that’s going on, I am glad to see the pictures like these because it goes to show color don’t matter to a lot of people. It really don’t! Arguing over stuff as such makes us miss the simple pleasures in life.”
Many agreed with her sentiments. One user wrote under the post, “I’m thankful you allowed the friendship to continue- some would be suspicious and scold their child for loving her and being loved and call him back to your side. Says a lot about you as well. Praise God that in small ways He continues to show us His ways.”
Another added, “My heart is truly overwhelmed! God is so awesome! I thank God for this moment and the friendship that has been formed! Isaiah has such a pure heart and he has a gift of discernment even at his young age! This truly brings tears to my eyes! ❤❤❤”
Despite the heartwarming photo, it’s difficult to ignore that it comes at a time when America is still grappling with issues of racial injustice, police brutality and discrimination. Just last week, white folks lost their minds over former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick being named the face of Nike’s latest ad campaign. Many have had racist outbursts including calling the athlete-turned-activist a “thug,” destroying their Nike products and even banning the purchase of Nike products for Louisiana’s recreation department by the city’s mayor. Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest the aforementioned issues.
Valdosta is the same south Georgia town where the parents of Kendrick Johnson are still seeking justice and answers for the 17-year-old’s 2013 death at Lowndes County High School, where the teenager was found dead inside a gym mat in the high school gymnasium.
But the moment shared between Isaiah and Ms. Angela is interpreted by Isaiah’s mother, Thameka Miller, as a cause for optimism during the nation’s current contentious era.
“I thank God for this moment and the friendship that has been formed!” Miller wrote on the Facebook post. “Isaiah has such a pure heart and he has a gift of discernment even at his young age! This truly brings tears to my eyes!”