Michael Brown Sr. joined his name to the BLM10Plus movement, a dissident organization calling for transparency and accountability as debate rocks the larger Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Brown’s 18-year-old son Michael Brown was fatally shot by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. His death launched off demonstrations that raised the BLM movement’s profile.
A choir in the church sang a song of hope in memory of Brown.
“I’m going to put on my robe, tell the story how I made it over,” the altos, sopranos and tenors sang as dignitaries and guests including Spike Lee, Martin Luther King III and Bishop T.D. Jakes exchanged greetings before the funeral got under way.
Representatives from the White House were likewise in attendance.
Outside, a long line of mourners waited in the sweltering heat wishing for a seat. Mourners filled the balcony and an overflow room.
“Michael Brown’s blood is crying from the ground. Crying for vengeance, crying for justice.” Brown’s great uncle, Pastor Charles Ewing, announced in the eulogy.
“We called him the gentle giant. We called him Big Mike. We called him Mike Mike. He said one day the world will know my name.”
The service, billed by the family as a homegoing ceremony, started as a lively celebration with hand clapping, tambourine banging and spirited singing.
Besides the casket, flowers and photos of Brown that lined the altars, the cavernous sanctuary could have surely been mistaken as the site of a revival meeting.
The elder Brown’s name was added in an announcement from BLM10Plus scrutinizing the leadership of the larger organization and asking for particulars about fundraising, spending and other decisions to be more transparent.
Earlier this year, after the Black Lives Matter Global Foundation announced it earned over $90 million in donations in 2020, as the movement went global in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Brown publicly challenged the group’s spending and asked for $20 million to help Ferguson.
Additionally named in the BLM10Plus statement were Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old killed by police in 2014, and Lisa Simpson, mother of Richard Risher, whose son was killed by LA police in 2016. Both had previously scrutinized BLM in interviews.
BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors announced she would quit last month, after revelations in The Post that she had recently purchased a $3 million property portfolio.
While she stated she paid for her properties with money she earned talking and writing books, her lavish lifestyle called into question the responsibility of the organization she led.