ST. LOUIS — It took a village to bury Michael Brown.
It took more than the 600 members of Brown’s family who gathered inside the jam-packed Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. It took more than the 2,500 black folks who filled the sanctuary. It took more than the hundreds of mourners who stood outside the church under a sweltering sun because there was no room in the building.
The black community in St. Louis said goodbye to one its own Monday. And although most of the mourners didn’t know Michael Brown, had never seen Michael Brown, and never spoke a word to Michael Brown, they came to pay their final respects because of how Michael Brown died. He was unarmed, shot six times on Aug. 9 by Darren Wilson, a white police officer from Ferguson, Missouri, and left lying facedown on dirty pavement for four hours.
As I sat inside the sanctuary, I watched the slow stream of mourners pack the pews. Some came to Friendly Temple because they felt sympathy for black parents who had to bury their son; some came because they are still angry about the shooting; others came because Michael Brown’s name has become synonymous with a national rallying call for justice.
Brown, 18, was killed in what could be called the war against young Black men – the escalating confrontations between police and African-American males, a fierce war that is often played out on our nation’s streets.
It’s a devastating cycle—and young black men in America are being targeted while driving, targeted while walking, targeted just for being. In Ferguson, tensions were high even before Brown’s death as the city is 67 percent black, but only three of its 53 police officers are black.
“We are required to leave here today and change things,” Rev. Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network, told a cheering audience. “There’ve been other times in history that became seminal moments. This is one of those moments.”
“We’re required in his name to change this country,” Sharpton said. “Justice is going to come! Justice is going to come! Justice is going to come!”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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