Ferguson, Personally

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Rembert Browne flew to Ferguson last week. Out of interest in the town’s newfound notoriety, the crowds contesting it, and the general ennui surrounding Contemporary Black Youth, the usual-sports writer compiled the meat of his thoughts in an essay for Grantland:

The history of being black in America is the history of nonviolence versus “fight back.” Of wait versus now. Of a turned cheek versus self-defense. Suddenly, this was becoming the latest chapter in black America’s “what next?” history. And on the steps outside of the church, each group had its Martin and its Malcolm. They all wanted the same thing, but the answers provided in the church weren’t enough for a consensus.

Browne also riffs on Eric Garner, his own mother, and the casual anonymity of the African American church.


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →