Berkeley Talks: Michael Brown's family on keeping his memory alive
Rashad Arman Timmons, a fellow at UC Berkeley’s Black Studies Collaboratory, joins in conversation with the family of Michael Brown Jr., whose 2014 killing by police ignited a wave of protests across the country
By Public Affairs
In Berkeley Talks episode 178, Rashad Arman Timmons, a fellow at UC Berkeley’s Black Studies Collaboratory, joins in conversation with the family of Michael Brown Jr., whose 2014 killing by police in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited a wave of protests across the country.
During the March 8, 2023, discussion, Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., his stepmother, Cal Brown, and Timmons consider the enduring significance of Ferguson in the nation’s racial landscape and ponder Black grief as a resource for social transformation.
“A note on grief,” begins Timmons. “We grieve because we care. We grieve because we love. And we grieve because we remember. I feel a responsibility to say this, to acknowledge grief for what it truly is: an ethical act of care, a radical act of love and a persistent triumph of memory.
“When we grieve the Black dead and dying, we enact an urgent care for them. We profess a vigilant love over them and nurture a commitment to remember them. Christina Sharpe in her beautiful theorizing calls the unison of these practices ‘wake work.’ ‘Wake work,’ she writes, ‘describes how we attend to physical, social and figurative death, and also to the largeness that is Black life, or Black life insisted from death. Wake work describes how we imagine, defend and care for Black lives always already threatened, in our present or the future, that chattel slavery made possible.’”
Listen to the conversation in Berkeley Talks episode 178, “Michael Brown’s family on keeping his memory alive.”Read more about the event and learn more about the Black Studies Collaboratory.