Mike Brown’s Mother Shares Excerpt From Memoir
Mike Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden is finally sharing her story with the world through her book “Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil: The Life Legacy And Love Of My Son Michael Brown” and ESSENCE Magazine has published an excerpt in their June issue, on newsstands now.
Check out part of it below:
And then one day our Mike Mike was shot and killed by a police officer on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, and suddenly his name was being spoken everywhere: Mike Brown, Jr., Michael Brown or just Brown…but never Mike Mike, never our family’s name for him, the name that marked him as special to us and those who knew him for real. Pastor Creflo Dollar asked me what I thought about all the people out there on Canfield Drive when I got to the scene the day Mike Mike was shot. I turned, looking directly at him, and as sure as the breath I’m breathing, in a very matter-of-fact way, said, “I didn’t see those people. That day, I was looking for one person: my son. Nobody else mattered.” I think I kind of shocked -Pastor -Dollar. I was respectful, of course, but I had to tell it to him straight up. I was just keeping it real. You see, because as a mother, when your child is hurt, scared or in danger, you hurt, you want to comfort them, and you will protect them from harm, even if it means -laying your own life down. That day out on Canfield Drive, I had tunnel vision. Nothing and nobody was more -important than getting to Mike Mike and helping him in any way I could. It wasn’t until days later, when I looked at the news and people showed me pictures from their phones that I saw the crowd of folks who had been out there. So the only way I can really describe that day is to compare it to the day I had Mike Mike. Bringing him into the world was almost the same feeling as when he left here—a lot of people making noise and milling around, and my attention just glued to my new baby boy.
I’m not going to lie; I’ve been wanting to get mad and just go f–k the world up, because my son being killed has messed my whole life up. No way should my son have left here before me. But I have to stop myself every time my anger begins to build like that. If I look at it that way too long, I’ll find myself in trouble, doing something out of rage and revenge. That would be out of my character, and Mike Mike would never want me to do anything like that. It’s so hard sometimes, but I have to find some type of something to keep myself calm so I can be a good wife and mother for my other kids. That’s why, looking at my son’s death today, I try to see it from more of a spiritual standpoint. God let me have Mike Mike for 18 years. He wouldn’t let me have him longer because He had other plans for us. Those plans are still being revealed to me, but I believe a big part of His plans was to wake people up to some things in the world that need changing. I’m ready, though, for whatever He has in store.
What I do know for sure is that I was just a kid when I had Mike Mike. I made a lot of mistakes when I was young, but in raising him I got stronger, wiser. What we endured together, especially in his years as a small child, is a story that only his mother can tell. One that I have held close until now. The naysayers and judgers and haters wrote me off when I had my baby, saying things like, “She ain’t gonna do nothin’ with her life,” but I never gave up. I had to develop thick skin to get through those scary and confusing days, but I was determined to make it for my child, to do right by Mike Mike…
I find a way to smile because my baby had aspirations and dreams. That really gives me comfort on the low days. That’s why I got to clear things up, because folks out here got it twisted: Mike wasn’t a criminal who deserved to be shot like a -dangerous animal. He was a good boy who cared about the right things, and family and friends were at the top of his list. He didn’t have a police record. He never got in trouble. He was a techie, in love with computers. He loved his mama and was proud to be headed to college and of the things he knew. The whole family was proud of him, too.
When my son was killed, everybody had his or her own version of how everything went down. Cops with their version of the facts. People living in the Canfield Apartments with another. The television and newspaper people, EMTs, firemen, old people, young people, Black, White, you name it—everyone with a different story that was supposed to be the truth about my son’s last minutes on earth. My son was dead on the street in front of the world, and everybody -except Mike Mike was busy telling his story. Even in the months since that horrible day, people still haven’t stopped talking, from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, in the beauty shop and coffee shop, everywhere. Well, let me just say this: I wasn’t there when Mike Mike was shot. I didn’t see him fall or take his last breath, but as his mother, I do know one thing better than anyone, and that’s how to tell my son’s story, and the journey we shared together as mother and son.
I don’t wish this pain, this struggle, this hurt, this void, this guilt or this grief on anybody. After Mike Mike died, I believed we would have justice. I waited for the police to right the wrong, I waited for the county to bring justice for Mike Mike, I waited for the DOJ to discover the truth. The system has failed my son. It has failed me and it has failed all of us. But, now, I know that I can’t wait for anybody else to make change. I must make change, myself. That will be Mike Mike’s legacy; that will be his justice.
That’s the truth of it.
Powerful stuff right? You can purchase Lezley McSpadden’s book HERE
Hit the flip to hear her talk about meeting Jay Z and Beyoncé and why she agreed to be part of the “Freedom” video.