Talk Back

A Letter to Mike Brown

JET wants you to Talk Back.  This is one of the reader submissions that we received and opted to publish. Want to make your voice heard?  Submit your commentary, TV show recap, poem, 500-word book excerpt or essay HERE.  Read all the rules so you know how it works.

Dear Mike Brown,

I didn’t know you personally, but I feel like I did. Almost 10 months later and I still feel anger at your death. It was too soon, and sadly, more Black brothers have died at the hands of police since you left this realm.

You will never have the privilege of enjoying a long, fulfilling life. You’ll never enjoy the fruits of walking across the university stage, a successful career, a marriage or have children of your own. All of it’s been stripped away from you, much like Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride and countless other youth of color.

As you lay six feet under, thousands continue to march for justice in your name. and despite no legal retribution for your killer, your death is not in vain.

Today, you would’ve turned 19.

mike brown


Ideally, you’d be in your second semester of college and most likely sitting in some introductory courses at this time. Maybe you’d be having lunch, or catching a quick nap in your dorm. But that will never happen.

I wasn’t supposed to ever know you. None of us were in this capacity. You were supposed to be another college kid among many. Instead, you are the face of injustice.

Since you died, not much has changed in terms of the justice system being well, unfair and unjust when it comes to people of color. But our commitment is just as strong as it was 50 years ago.

As I sit here and digest countless articles on racial inequality, I think of you.

I know that your death was not in vain and that someday, justice will be served.

Happy Birthday Mike.