© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Marchers remember Michael Brown

Man stands in the middle of a crowd with reporters and cameras reflecting smaller versions of the scene. The sky is gray.
Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio
Michael Brown Sr. addresses a crowd of journalists and people ready to participate in a Justice Walk for his son's memorial weekend.

Familiar faces from the past few days and the past two years gathered in the parking lot of Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson. At 7 in the morning, it's an early start for what will shape up to be roughly a four mile walk through the August heat for a "Justice Walk" organized by Michael Brown Sr.

Following a night of truth telling, the Justice Walk is the second event Chosen For Change has planned leading up to Aug. 9 — marking two years since Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed in the street outside the apartments by a Ferguson police officer. The 50 or so people on the walk were there to support CFC, the family foundation set up by Michael Brown Sr. to memorialize his son and to help others.

Locals were joined by families from around the country who also lost loved ones to police and community violence. Those whose families were there include Oscar Grant, Cary Ball Jr.,Jamyla Bolden and Andrew Joseph.

Beginning in the street in front of Canfield Green Apartments where Brown was killed, the assembly walked in the street, escorted by St. Louis County and Ferguson police on West Florissant Avenue to Lucas and Hunt Road. The walk concluded at St. Peter's Cemetery where Brown is buried. 

"This is why we are here, to show Mike some love, you know, just trying to move forward," Michael Brown Sr. said, addressing those who made it to the end of the walk. "I appreciate y'all listening and encouraging the family, we really need y'all, thank you for all the fathers, everyone who's out here. We appreciate you." 

"We love you Mike!" the crowd responded in unison. 

Volunteers register participants with rubber band bracelets and small papers outlining a persons rights when they are stopped by police.
Credit Jenny Simeone | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
Children blow bubbles, while their parents and other adults mill around waiting for the start of the walk.
Man in blue holds a boy over his shoulders surrounded by other people moving forward.
Michael Brown Sr. finds his place at the center of the crowd, flanked by family, friends, and other Chosen for Change organizers.

Young woman in a grey shirt smiles down at a younger boy.
Trinity, sister of Michael Brown Jr. smiles at another young participant in the Justice Walk while others raise their hands toward Michael Brown Sr. in the center of the crowd at the conclusion of the walk.

Back at the Canfield Green Apartments, after the walk had ended, Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, was joined by a few dozen people and the "Rainbow of Mothers" — women who have lost children to police violence including the mothers of Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and Eric Garner.  The women walked down Canfield Drive to the spot where Michael Brown Jr. was killed, standing behind a banner that reads “We Will Rise.”   

McSpadden's march was a separate event from Chosen for Change's walk but with the same goal of honoring her son's life. 

Lezley McSpadden holds the mother of Tamir Rice, Samaria Rice as they share a moment at the culmination of their march.
Lezley McSpadden holds Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, as they share a moment at the end of their march.
Women lined up behind a banner. One woman has her fist raised, another has a megaphone.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio
The "Rainbow of Mothers" line up behind their banner, walking down Canfield Drive.

Woman with clergy-themed outfit sings while people pass her by with cameras.
Credit Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio
Pastor Rose Scott-Lusk sings and prays while photographers and local journalists crowd the mothers.


The mothers ended their march and reconvened for a panel discussion at Christ the King United Church of Christ. They briefly crossed paths with some who had been in the Justice Walk, who were back at Canfield Green Apartments retrieving their cars to meet at Greater St. Mark Family Church. There, Chosen for Change hosted a post-walk community day with food, live entertainment and local vendors. 

Three young women watch a woman dancing in orange.
Credit Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio
Young spectators watch performers from Beyond Dance Theater at the Chosen for Change community day.
Young boy in a superman shirt walks in front of a man.
Credit Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio
One-year-old Daeshawn ambles around the Greater St. Marks Family Church parking lot where vendors pass out popcorn and snow cones near the performance stage.