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What Michael Brown taught me

On August 9, 2014, Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown and left him to bleed to death on a street in Ferguson Missouri. As protests began, I was riveted.

Had Wilson not killed him, Michael Brown, 18, would have started college two days later. I remember crying at the words of his mother, Lesley McSpadden:

I saw in Michael Brown the young Black men I had come to know and love while working for Year Up, a nonprofit organization that prepares young adults without a college degree for corporate careers in technology. These young men worked so hard to get through our program. I was so proud of them.

What happened to Michael Brown could very easily happen to young men I loved, but would never happen to my children.

I wished Wilson would have recognized Michael Brown’s humanity, would have seen in him the young men he loves. I wished Michael Brown had gone on to college and to pursue his dreams.

The protesters inspired me. They were so brave and relentlessly withstood tremendous brutality. I thought for sure their pressure would result in accountability.

When Darren Wilson was not indicted, I cried again.

Michael Brown taught me that I knew nothing of the depth of white supremacy, that I was part of the problem, and that I had to start doing something.

His invaluable lesson changed my life.

Rest in Power Michael Brown and know you will never be forgotten.

Founder, Racy Conversations Inspiring the antiracist generation.

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