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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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5 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: After Burying Mike Brown, How Do We Protect Our Sons?

  1. Uncle G on said:

    You protect your sons by telling them the history of Slavery and Jim Crow in America. Young
    Black People today are unaware of that history because white legislators in cities and states
    across the country have legislated the history of white folks slavery, murdering and genocide
    of Black Americans for over 400 years out of the school books. So, young Black folks today
    have little understanding of how much white folks hate them today. Young Blacks are very
    unaware of this until it is too late and we have incidents like the Trayvon Martins and the
    Michael Browns. That is when young Blacks will see the overwhelming support for the murderers
    of these young Black males by anonymous whites, donating cash to these perpetrators and making
    racist comments about these unjustified murders of Black males. So, my Black brothers and
    sisters, I would advise you to not trust any whites that you do not know where they stand on racial
    issues. Especially white law enforcement.

  2. Inform our young men of color on how to deal effectively with cops to avoid confrontation and possible death.

    If pulled over in a vehicle for DWB-don’t make any false moves inside the car to make the cop feel threatened.

    Don’t present an attitude and watch what and how you speak to the cop.

    Remember that whatever you may say can be used against you at some point later.

    Always keep your hands in plain sight where the cops can see them!


    Don’t resist, even if you are really innocent.

    That is how African-American males can possible save themselves the fate of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many others in the 21 century “OPEN SEASON” on them!!!

    I have three teenage nephews and I feel so sorry for their mom who is raising them in this mentality!

    May God bless our kids and keep them from all possible harm!

  3. Deborah A Noblin on said:

    Yesterday, I had a Sunday dinner, to celebrate back to school year for my grandchildren, The smallest one will be entering kindergarten and he can’t wait! My oldest grandson is starting high school. He’s excited and nervous.
    I could not help thinking, in two years, God willing he’ll be driving and he will get to experience being pulled over and harassed. It sadden me deeply, because I know all his brother’s after him will probably have that experience. I don’t know one black male who has not. I know that when that day happens it will change them. I’m not sure how that change will manifest in them. I know it won’t be positive. I am also angry with myself, and my generation. We dropped the ball, we were so happy with the little changes that were bestowed on us, we took our eyes of the prize. We had a long way to go and we stopped! It’s isn’t enough that I took care of my own, I am my brother’s keeper. Mike Brown’s killing was just kindle that may ignite the fire in all of us, no matter what our color, we need to open our eyes, not just for our children, but for all, we can not change what we don’t acknowledge

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