Missouri Western hosted Michael Brown Sr. to speak about the true story of the death of his son, Michael Brown Jr., and conflict resolution on Thursday, September 27, in Spratt 101.
Michael Brown Jr. was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. It was national news and resulted in many riots in the Ferguson area.
“I’m here to speak about the truth of the loss of my son,” Brown said. “A lot of people don’t know the truth, they only know what the media told them. I wanted to rewire the minds of the negativity and get people to understand the truth of what really happened.”
Brown has done a lot in the Ferguson community following the death of his son. Although he speaks to different groups of people about social justice, he doesn’t view himself as a speaker.
“I’m not a speaker, I’m a grieving father- there’s a difference. People are often influenced by the words that come out of my mouth. I just come out and tell the truth,” Brown said.
It meant a lot to certain individuals who were in attendance. Sophomore Darrius Wherry speaks about what it meant to him personally.
“It means more that Brown came to talk to us other than anybody else to come about that situation,” Wherry said. “The fact that he wanted to come to little ol’ Missouri Western shows that he truly cares and wants to make a difference.”
Having many students enrolled at Western being from the St. Louis area, it really hit home for some. Sophomore Andre Gordon thinks that Brown’s lecture was a great thing for the community.
“Having him speak was a step in the right direction, not only on this campus but in our community,” Gordon said. “When someone is willing to take their pain and to step up to speak on it to make a change, that’s something that you support.”
While speaking about the truth, Brown talked about the struggles he and his family had following the shooting. He talked about the injustices during the tough time, and eventually opened up for questions to the crowd.
“Being from St. Louis and knowing the situation, it was very strong to hear from someone who experiment of it firsthand about those hardships,” sophomore Chris Desir said. “It was very powerful, I felt like he had a lot of good things to say and a lot of messages that will stick with me.”
The St. Joseph community was honored to hear everything that Brown spoke about and questions that he answered. Hopefully, everything that he said impacted the audience in a positive manner.