Rapper Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton has started a college fund for a 6-year-old St. Louis boy who pleaded for peace in the city amid a string of fatal shootings and violence.
Pusha T posted a picture of the letter he sent to Jeffrey Laney, the boy in the May 15 Facebook video that has been watched more than 218,000 times.
In the letter — addressed to “Lil J” — the rapper said he understood how scary the violence is to Laney and children across the country. Pusha T said Laney’s video “really woke him up” and he wished the child could teach him about fun and games — rather than the violence taking place in his city.
“But I thought it was very brave of you to speak up and try to help your family, friends, and community,” he wrote. “There a lot of 6yr olds all over the United States who are scared just like you and guess who their Super Hero is ... YOU!!”
Laney’s mom, LeeLee Cheatham, posted the video.
“Me and my mom — we live in St. Louis,” Jeffrey Laney said in the video. “And I’m coming to tell you all why people need to stop killing each other around here, because this is just making me feel bad, because I don’t want nothing to happen. I’m scared to death.”
Pusha T said he sent games, books, an iPad and other toys to Laney’s house for the child to enjoy this summer. Pusha T also said he was going to make sure the 6-year-old got to see the Spiderman movie this summer, attend summer camp at the Boys and Girls Club and paid for a trip to Six Flags Amusement Park in St. Louis for Laney and Laney’s cousins.
“No matter where we are in life we have to look out for the youth,” Pusha T continued in the letter. “Since you like helping people I wanna help you. What I’m gonna do for you is make sure that you have the fun that every 6yr old should have this summer.”
At the end of the letter he let the child know a college fund has been started in his name.
“It’s for when you grow up a little, you don’t have to worry about it now but when you need it, its there for you,” the rapper wrote.
Thanks to @theshaderoom for introducing me to Lil J & his mom @leelee0381 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dear Lil J, Hi my name is Terrence "Pusha -T" Thornton. I saw your video and I'm really sorry that you are having to deal with people shooting guns and hurting others where you live. A lot of people can't imagine how hard it is being a kid where you are from, If I were you, I would be scared too. But I thought it was very brave of you to speak up and try to help your family, friends, and community. There a lot of 6yr olds all over the United States who are scared just like you and guess who their Super Hero is...YOU!! Your video really woke me up. You are a thoughtful and smart kid at such a young age already, I can tell. You spoke so clearly about something so terrible in gun violence and fear, which is something no child should be speaking about with so much knowledge. I would much rather you taught me how to play video games or build a car or about the latest comic book you read and if you think Spiderman really is better than Batman. I know I can’t solve all of your problems at once but hopefully this is a start. Hopefully other men in our communities saw your video and also realize that a 6 year old boy just challenged us all to do better. No matter where we are in life we have to look out for the youth. Since you like helping people I wanna help you. What I'm gonna do for you is make sure that you have the fun that every 6yr old should have this summer. I'm sending you, your cousins Janiya and Brandon to Six Flags Amusement Park in St Louis, I know you guys are gonna have the best time. When you arrive back, all of you will start summer camp at the Boys and Girls club. All summer long you will be learning, playing, and meeting new friends. I heard that you love Spider Man so I'm gonna make sure that you will be one of the first to see new Spider-Man movie next month!! I also sent some things to your house for the times you aren't away at camp. There are some games, books, an iPad and other toys to help you enjoy the summer and beyond. I can’t wait to hear about which books you liked better and which car was the fastest. I hope the package encourages you t