Broderick Greer, a student at Virginia Theological Seminary student, traveled to Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. He writes a compelling essay at Huffington Post:
After six shots, Brown was dead at the age of 18. At the time of his death, Michael was six years my junior. And yet, nothing separates us. Yes, he grew up in a working class suburb of St. Louis and I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Fort Worth. Yes, he was a gifted rapper and I prefer Anglican chant.
But beyond those details, Michael and I are the same, because if I had been walking down Canfield Drive on August 9, I probably would have been shot dead as well. Because that is the story of our nation, a story that involves 20 or so Africans who were traded/sold for supplies in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. I, like Michael Brown, descend from people who were regarded as subhuman; classified as ⅖ of a person; categorized as less than people of European descent. And with this shared narrative of degradation, dehumanization, and desolation, I set off for Ferguson with nothing in my bag but my red journal and a change of clothes (and a toothbrush). And all I had was time. And all we have is time.