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At Michael Brown's Funeral, Little of His Life and Much About His Death

Categories: Michael Brown

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A page from the program at Michael Brown's funeral.

At most funerals eulogies attempt to bookend a life through stories. But at Michael Brown's "home going" ceremony yesterday, relatively little was said about the eighteen-year-old man. Most of the speakers talked about his death and the ongoing quest for justice. Family members confessed that they are hurt and angered by his killing.

The sanctuary and several adjacent rooms at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Drive were filled with nearly 4,500 mourners, including 600 members of Brown's family. News helicopters circled in the sky as temperatures soared. T-shirt vendors hawked "I Survived the Ferguson Riots 2014" apparel. Onlookers breathlessly tweeted the arrival of various celebrities like Spike Lee and Jesse Jackson. Limousines clogged the street.

Obviously, this was no ordinary funeral.

While the centerpiece of the service was a 40-minute eulogy by Reverend Al Sharpton, family members did share a bit about Brown's life. Here is what little we learned about Brown, the person, from yesterday's services and from pieces of writing by his mother and father.

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Bryan Sutter
Michael Brown Sr. arrives to his son's funeral.

Read all of our coverage on the death of Michael Brown here.

Cal Brown, Michael's stepmother, spoke on behalf of her husband, Michael Brown Sr., who stood behind her on the dais. She called the teenager her best friend (as Brown also said in some of his rap lyrics). She said they spent many hours talking about religion and studying the Bible.

"'I've got so much going on inside me,'" she recalled him saying at a lunch right after his graduation from Normandy High School. "'I'm going to shake the world.'"

"If I had the time to tell all that Mike Mike shared with me, there wouldn't be an empty seat in here," she continued. "Mike Mike is an awesome man. I have to say that because I met him three years ago when he was a boy, but he evolved into a man. A good man, and he just wanted so much. He wanted to go to college, he wanted to have a family, he wanted to be a good father...I just want to say to Mike Mike that I love you, and I wish I could hold you and kiss you, but I know you'd say, 'Cal, we don't do that gay stuff.'"

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Bryan Sutter
The program.

Slideshow: Michael Brown's Funeral Draws Thousands

Though neither his mother or father spoke, they submitted pieces of writing to the service's program, including this obituary:

Michael O.D. Brown was born on May 20, 1996, to Michael Brown and Lesley McSpadden in St. Louis, MO.

Michael departed this life suddenly in Ferguson, MO, on August 9, 2014. Michael was preceded in death by his grandfather, Lubie Brown, his great-grandmothers, Para Lee Ewings, Eldora Forston and Lillie Carpenter.

Michael accepted Christ at an early age and joined Original Friendship Baptist Church where he attended with his parents.

Michael was educated in the St. Louis Public School System. He graduated from Normandy High School on May 23, 2014. Michael was in the process of getting ready to attend Vatterott College (on Monday, August 11, 2014).

Michael was an avid lover of music, computers and sports. During his young life he played football. He loved to Rap about life and was so good at it that he was asked to write a song for a friend. He was a very friendly, gentle giant who loved his family very much. Michael enjoyed playing PS4 and X Box games.

Here's what Michael Brown Sr. wrote in the funeral's program:

To My Son

Dear Son,
I don't understand why you were chosen by God
I know He knows what He is doing because
God Almighty doesn't make mistakes.
So that's why you were called home
I think of you day and night just wish
I was there to save you from harm.
I always told you I will never let nothing happen to you.
And that's what hurt soooooooo much that
I couldn't protect you but we love you.
I will never let you die in my heart.
You will always live forever
Your dad and best friend.
You old dude, that's what you called me.
-- Michael Brown Sr.

By Lesley McSpadden, Brown's mother:

To My Son

I never want this to go unsaid,
There are no words to express how much you mean to me.
A son like you, I thought could never be.
Because the day you were born, I just know,
God sent me a blessing -- and that was you.
For this I thank Him every day.
You are the true definition of a son, in every way.
Becoming a mom has shown me a new sense of being.
I want you to know that you were the purpose in my life.
Out of everything I did -- it was you that I did right.
Always remember that I know how much you care.
I can tell by the relationship that we share.
For a son like you there could be no other,
And whether we are together or apart please
Don't forget you will always be in my heart.
Love,
Lesley

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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129 comments
chuyortegar
chuyortegar

one less criminal on the streets... N's crybabies 

Michael Lanman
Michael Lanman

I do understand outrage... But not when it's an excuse for a large group of trashy people to loot and riot. Because in Ferguson, more than 2 wrongs make a right. Dumbass.

Stephanie Freeny
Stephanie Freeny

You are an idiot! The residents DID call 911 & the news media. St. L. County responded w/more police & canines. REALLY! Canines for an officer involved shooting, but no ambulance! Now do you understand the outrage?

Chris Settles
Chris Settles

And a penchant for violence and robbery...truly a real loss.

Stephanie Freeny
Stephanie Freeny

Get to know your history. Crackers were the white men who perfected the cracking of the whip on the backs of black slaves. Kinda like Officer KILL-son who managed to pump 6 shots into an unarmed man in spite of having a busted eye socket. Remarkable!

Stephanie Freeny
Stephanie Freeny

Yes 600 family members, in spite of slavery, lynching, & police brutality. You people are sick...hate to tell you but he has a mother, father, stepmother & stepfather...8 grandparents--aunts, uncles, cousins.

Stephanie Freeny
Stephanie Freeny

I just want to know when you people talked to Officer KILLson, did he tell you that the he said "freeze"? Ask him if he thinks it's over...oh, no, it just got started.

OldMan166
OldMan166

Anytime Sharpton shows up, it is a circus. He don't give a damn about Brown. All he is interested in is lining his pockets & getting publicity. AND Jackson showing up. What a joke. But, this is what the Brown family wanted. Typical black people. Shame

Tyrone Austin
Tyrone Austin

Over $150,000,000 in lawsuits over Mike Brown, My Question is . How much will any of these people involved are willing to Make World Business History with a just a portion of the funds and reduce Gas so Job growth can star in Black communities. ??? Google The Hydrogen Car Fender Insert program that reduced gas to below $1.99gl and lower. This is a $3BILLION A MONTH PROGRAM. Just don't give it all back to the MAN.

Michael Kyro
Michael Kyro

And now the " protesters" , who care so much for this already poor area, have hired the" Black lawyers for justice" to sue the Furguson police, the Mayor and the County for 200 million dollars .....LMFAO, GO FIGURE...do you think if they win they will use that money to help replace what the business owners lost ? The door for the REAL tragedy here, the destruction of Ferguson, was opened soley by the people protesting, and held open by those protesters till nothing was left.. . and all for an invalid reason...another robbery suspect assaulting a police officer ...nothing more.... the only reason Brown was shot so many times is because that's how many it took to stop him.. if the cop would have had a .45 cal..it probably would have taken less.....of course a grieving family is only gonna think it was wrong...reality says different....

Scott Fogarty
Scott Fogarty

Justice has been served. Criminal attacks officer. Officer shoots criminal. = Justice As far as change. Its has to be earned and deserved. Not demanded like a bunch of spoiled children.

Dierdre Lockette
Dierdre Lockette

And to those who keep saying "it's over"? No. It's literally NOT over. Literally. We're going to keep shouting about this until justice and change occurs.

Dierdre Lockette
Dierdre Lockette

Thank you RFT!! Seems people are only tired of hearing about it if it doesn't re-enforce their views.

ut_4_me
ut_4_me

I don't know what really happened with the shooting except that a young man is dead and was shot by an on duty police office.  There are witnesses  making contradictory statements to the press. The officer's side is being kept quiet because, and that is understandable because the truth, one way or the other, will come out in due time.    My question is, what will happen if the shooting is supported by evidence to be justified?   That would not change the injustices that many in the black community feel they have suffer on a regular basis, but how will the community react if it turns out there is irrefutable evidence in the officer's favor?

Bill Wilson
Bill Wilson

Charles Manson was a cute little fucker too. Give me a break!! LMFAO

SsherylAnn Pugh
SsherylAnn Pugh

I read what he posted on Facebook before his death his words tell me he was not an insensitive human being he was concerned about things that affected his life that also tells me he was not a cruel mean person this ying man had thoughts & feelings like everybody else

Renee Risse Berry
Renee Risse Berry

Enough. I don't want to hear what he did before he was shot and I don't want to hear what the officer did before this tragic incident. I just want to know who's innocent and who's guilty!

Jay Sicht
Jay Sicht

LOL at the Abraham reference.

Dawn Rednour
Dawn Rednour

He was a lil thug wanna be who like to bully store owners.But this town(the bad people in it)needed someone to make a martyr so they could justify their own looting and rioting..

herpdina
herpdina

I have a few things to say and I'll let you all resume this heartless blaming game of yet another travesty of a tragedy. First and foremost it must be said that it is becoming uncomfortably common for the lives of citizens to be lost at the hands of our police. What is most alarming is the ring of gunshots flying in on the scene of trivial incidents. Instead of detaining a civilian in a hostile matter and arresting they grab their gun and shoot til the blood that is spilling is spelling death, and the reality that this is more common in the black community is detrimental. Black men are evidently more of the prioritized target when it comes to law enforcement scrutinization and the lack of value for black life in the eyes of police authority is enraging, yet I understand why for I understand the oppression of African Americans. Michael brown is yet another reminding example of the historical status of the black man in Amerikkka. The problem of this situation vines it stems all the way back to the  Ancient Hebrew Israelite's and their massive dispersion across the globe and in this situation exclusively those who migrated to West Africa to their bondage on the ships and arrival furthermore as Amerikkkas bondman and bondwomen. You see, all of this has been prophesied and planned so those of you with ignorant yet open minds, my words come with peace and authenticity. If you are not a hopeless devil downed racist, I hope that my words may offer more of an impartial stance on this situation. The black man has always been the first served when it comes to police AND civilian brutality in Amerikkka as well as racial profiling which may be a violation in this case. Whatever threat that Michael Brown imposed to the officer did not deserve a succession of gun shots fired resulting in six piercing and deathly wounds. Two of which the autopsy shows pierced into his skull. Brown was alive, defenseless, and wounded at some point in which further force was not needed! What becomes plausible is that the officer was on a roll of revenge and could not control himself from ceasing to kill young Michael Brown. The police officer could of tazed, maced, and detained this boy to prevent death but instead furiously and intently murdered him out of uncontrolled emotion. The following events after Michael Browns slaughter reveals further evidence that the killing of Michael Brown is unjust. The first awareness of this situation received from the dispatch was from a civilian and when authority was noticed, police demanded the ambulance not to come! SO, for a very disturbing still unclear reason, Michael Browns body lay marinating in its own blood like an animal slaughtered, for hours. When authorities figured Browns body had simmered long enough on the concrete beneath him they decided then NOT to call an ambulance but to haul his body in the back of a police truck! What?! Need I say more? It becomes painstakingly clear they had something to hide, and it is a migraine on my skull that yet another atrocity of a black life is faced with such souless, malicious, foul mouthed and dishonorable comments. If this case reveals anything of truth it will reveal the corrupt and immoral mindset of racist people in Amerikkka. Even though we are in the 21st century in Amerikkka, we are steal dealing with hot rods of racism buring through its society and not that is hasnt been prophesied no, I am just amazed that it is actually coming to pass, the curses of the Isrealites and the destruction of Amerikkka. Maybe its not too late, maybe we can actually start to love eachother and save our souls, or maybe some of us are so far stuck up the ass of our ego that we cant let go. 


Peace be onto you.............

Vicki Hammer Rademacher
Vicki Hammer Rademacher

So tell me RFT do you read your comments, evidently not...it is a pretty mutual feeling among your comments that we all think you are sounding foolish and bias. Get the facts straight, I understand you are not real reporters, but at least have facts. Don't make yourself look like fools...stick to music and food.

Brian Hilderbrand
Brian Hilderbrand

Pretty sure they also released statements that said Wilson wasn't harmed at all. Sure you have the right Michael Brown there? That was released multiple days ago and deemed false. Also all of those charges are from the same day...that's a busy day for someone to be in custody. I would do a little more research miss Kathy, you probably watch Fox "news" who are dead wrong over 60% of the time.

Bill Hennig
Bill Hennig

Might want to include strong arm robbery.

Gina Ackworth
Gina Ackworth

Yes, they said it was out of character. Doesn't mean one way or the other whether Brown attacked the officer for a barrage of bullets. You'd have to wait until all the evidence is in. However, I don't think you want any more evidence. You seem to know it all yet the grand jury hasn't even heard it all yet.

Laura Tomerlin
Laura Tomerlin

So the family has admitted that his behavior at the store was out of character then its also plausable that while out of character he attacked the officer.

ShiniquaJefferson
ShiniquaJefferson

If you say Michael Browns' name 3 times into a mirror : he will appear with Biggie Smalls and beat your ass till you give him a cigar.

Michael is now in his eternally "hot" destiny .  

Hope he enjoys bitch slappin' Michael Jacksons' ghost.


Hey MB....say yo' to Trayvon , and John Wayne Gacy too !

KITTY
KITTY

Yesterday's installment of The Trayvon Martin Traveling Circus & Roadshow was more of a racist summit that it was a funeral. There was 10 times more hate, anger and racism spewed than of love and peace. No matter what, they want Officer Wilson's head, regardless of the evidence or what the grand jury decides. If Brown's prints are on Wilson's gun, it's all over and done. And they won't be happy! Riots will ensue, damn the truth or evidence. 

Eric S Smith
Eric S Smith

Raymond, unfortunately it will never be enough and that goes for both sides.

Jeff Bailey
Jeff Bailey

If this had been a black on black crime, would this even be news???? Or just another day The Lou

Nancy Cima
Nancy Cima

Just my opinion as a midwestern girl raised in the outskirts of St. Louis... I've seen more racist comments from African Americans then i have from any other ethnicity. Crackers, honkey, devil.... Not cool. At all. Now, I have met and am friends with some outstanding African Americans, but the "stereotypes" of thugs, gang bangers, etc won't stop if the race holds true to it. Just like blondes are dumb, gingers have no soul, etc. You as a person have to make a change. And unfortunately statistics don't lie. Luckily with modern technology, St. Louis LEO and the feds will get to the bottom of this. But unfortunately either way the ball drops, there will be problems, and more riots.

Wayne Light
Wayne Light

He also loved stealing and beating up cops

Sara Buneta
Sara Buneta

this kid is dead by his actions and his actions alone you think hes the first to be gunned down by police? come on seriously the only reason anybody has made an ordeal out of this is because it was a white cop and african american. i dont see obama doing anything for white families when an innocent women man or child is beaten to death stabbed or robbed by any african americans. and based on the comentary here in my news feed it seems like the african american are far more racist then us white people. i was kidnapped and damn near raped by a black individule i dont hate all african americans for it though. so why should any of you hate all white people because of ones bad judgment (that was over kill) i believe the officer was justified when the guy tried to bum rush him after already assulting him and a prior assult during a strong armed robbery

Herb Rayburn
Herb Rayburn

I'm white and yes I get pulled over and yes they treat me bad..its called control and yes they doing there job do I like it no!! And if everyone had a job and had to pay there bills I don't think there be all the crime looting going on cuzz they would not have time too..so please jump up and down- loot for more JOBS!!

doagaeporbeni
doagaeporbeni

When you die a horrible death, we will try not to mention it or find any suspects......

recklesswondr
recklesswondr

Yeah,, Im sure he did. All self serving!  He wasn't worried about that store clerk as he violently was shoving around and man handling this small man.  His long criminal record and sealed juvenile records speak a lot lourder than empty words.  Go on Case.net yourself and take a gander.  Some people just don't care about the truth, justice prevailed, a family is grieving the loss of their son which is understandable.  All cops should have to wear a body cam so they are protected from false allegations and false statements of witnesses. Even if he had and it showed a surmountable  amount of evidence in favor of the cop. Ferguson residents would still be acting like criminals and the family would still be grieving, end of story.

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