Dear Mama of Michael Brown

michael brown I can’t imagine the horror and heaviness of heart you have endured in the past week and a half since the tragic, senseless death of your son. I want you to know that regardless of what ANYONE says or ANYTHING your son did in the past, he did NOT deserve to be gunned down and left on the hot, dark pavement for hours.

I’m sure that when you held your bouncing baby boy in your arms for the first time, this scenario was the furthest thing from your mind. I’m sure that all you held in your heart for your brown eyed, brown skinned boy were hopes and dreams and love. Hopes that have been dashed, dreams that have died and love that couldn’t save him from the realities of the world we live in.

I’m sorry- deeply, truly sorry- for the picture that others are trying to paint of your child. It matters not if he did or didn’t steal cigars or anything else. It matters not if he hung out with the wrong crowd. It matters not if he was jaywalking. It matters not if he had or didn’t have a juvenile record. The indisputable fact is that your boy was unarmed in broad daylight and was shot six times anyway. Teenagers make mistakes, no matter the color of their skin. There is no spin or excuse or justification that will ever make what happened okay.  And, I’m deeply, truly sorry that it will still be attempted in order to deflect blame and accountability away from those involved.

I am not naïve to the fact that if this had been one of my white teenage sons, the outcome would have been different. As the mama of a black daughter, I am well acquainted with the fact that the encounters she has had with the police, for minor traffic offenses, have varied drastically from near identical incidents that my white sons have faced. Racism may be more subtle than it was 50 years ago but it runs just as deep in this country.

You, sweet mama, deserve justice for your son. You deserve closure. You deserve transparency. You deserve sympathy and respect. You deserve peace. You deserve answers. You deserve for your son to be walking, talking, breathing- you deserve for your son to be alive.

Please know that the character assassinations of the few do not reflect the hearts of the many. Please know that my heart bleeds for you and your family. Please know that your son matters and that his death will not be in vain. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and if I could hug you and apologize to you on behalf of my race, I wholeheartedly would.

May justice and truth prevail.

Sincerely, A fellow mama who cares


  1. Melissa,
    This is beautiful. It reminds me that conversations between mamas need to be occurring; they are all our children, and they all matter. Thank you for reaching out to me. Have you shared this with the “dream team”? I will….
    Peace and good to you, obedient servant, in Jesus’ name,
    Chelle recently posted..Godspeed-how fast is that?? (inspired by a Sunday sermon)My Profile

  2. Stephanie Romero says:

    I must admit, this blog (which I’ve been following for some time) disappointed me. Not because I think it’s wrong to show compassion toward this young man’s mother. But it paints a picture of just one side. It’s never a good thing for someone to die at the hands of another human being. Yet there is another side to this story and it includes accounts of this young man beating the police officer. As the mom of a 20-year-old son who is a military cop, I hear the stories from the other side. Again, not justifying anything and in fact, not giving an opinion on the entire situation because all the facts haven’t come out. Being a police officer is one of the most dangerous occupations. They face situations we cannot possibly fathom. At any rate, I’m unsubscribing from your blog because I felt like you didn’t take a moment to consider what the officer might have been going through. Nor did you suggest there is more to the entire story.

    • Unsubscribing doesn’t encourage discussions… I know I’m late to this conversation but I find it very unfortunate that you would be a long-time follower of someone’s blog and simply abandon all interest in the writer because you can’t relate to one piece. Sounds extremely closed-minded…
      Kat @ recently posted..MeMy Profile

  3. I’m genuinely sorry this post left a bad taste in your mouth. My opinions about the Michael Brown incident are not one sided by any means. This was a post written about placing myself in this mothers shoes. And, I do strongly feel that there is a systemic problem in our country and this situation has brought it to the forefront again.
    My white son is a military police officer as well and I have many friends whose husbands are in law enforcement. I have great respect for the job and those that put their lives on the line for our safety on a daily basis.
    That doesn’t change the fact that my black daughter had had very negative run ins with officers that my white sons have never experienced. That shouldn’t be the case. And I can’t help but wonder how much of a part Michael’s race played in the outcome of that situation.
    Melissa Smallwood recently posted..Dear Mama of Michael BrownMy Profile

  4. Common Sense says:

    Is there ANY chance that your daughter has had an obvious attitude with police that your dons don’t or didn’t have? It has been my experience that when you go into a situation EXPECTING the worst, that is usually what you get. The human face and body language can convey MORE truth than words can ever hope to. Perhaps your daughter has authority issues that manifest ALL OVER her face that cause her issues. I see a LOT of tension that is construed as racism, sexism, and even ageism, when in reality, it’s just two people whose personalities do not mesh well. Racism will not die until people stop ASSUMING that all of their problems are being CAUSED by the Color of their skin, instead of the foolishness/ignorance of their actions.

    The day Michael Brown died, I am SURE that both parties COULD have done at LEAST a dozen things differently.

  5. When you said “it matters not…” you lost me. It matters very much. If your child: black, white, orange, or yellow decides to steal, commit a felony, and then charges a police officer, it matters, it matters very much, and it cost this young man his life. That box of cigars cost him his entire life. Not because of the color of his skin, but because of the choices he made. I will teach my children that ONE decision can cost you your life!! My sons are only 3 and 6 but I have told them a story that goes like this: a young man decided one day to use drugs, and then to rob a store, and then to be disrespectful to authority, and then to reach for an officers gun and charge him like a steed. And the officer had to shoot him to get him to stop. Moral of the story: ONE BAD CHOICE, or in this case six…can end your life. Now boys unfortunately this young mans family wants to hide behind the color of his skin, but the truth is, no matter what color you are, if you reach for an officers gun and charge at him you will be shot. Be wise children. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.”

  6. This is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for caring enough to express yourself so eloquently. May God continue to bless you and your family. You are wonderful. <3

  7. I’m just now reading this 🙁 I’m running out of words to express the heartache, but you found them…
    Kat @ recently posted..MeMy Profile

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