Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Brandon Tate-Brown’s Mother Says ‘There Was No Excuse’ for Philly Police to Shoot Her Son in the Back of His Head

Brandon Tate Brown was killed by a Philadelphia police officer in the early morning hours of December 5, 2014.

The justification police are offering is that Brandon had a gun in his car, and after peacefully getting out of the car when officer's requested, they thought he was moving back toward the car to get it. Both officers involved have reportedly been on the force for less than a year.

The officer who killed Brandon apparently said he feared for his life, even though Brandon was outside of the car, and was not even facing the officer. Moreover, it appears Brandon was shot while on the passenger side of the vehicle, presumably with or next to the other responding officer, although the single shell casing found at the scene suggests the officer who shot him was somewhere near the rear driver side of the vehicle. Yet he said he feared for his life. It always happens that officers get to tell the definitive story, because our dear Black sons and daughters aren't alive to tell theirs.

While it's really painful to read this article, I hope you do, and also that you continue to follow this story. The mother's deep pain comes through clearly. And the sheer love for her son, who she said was as good and as nice a human being as any one of us. Every Black life matters. Every single one.

If you really hear Brandon's story in this article, you can't help but stop and challenge the typical demonization of Brandon in the media, and by police officials. Indeed, most of the other articles about this case continue to revictimize Brandon and his family, focusing on his prior conviction and time served. His mother speaks eloquently and passionately about this, and it seems clear from Brandon's media posts that this was not a fair depiction of the kind of person he was by the time of this tragic shooting.

This madness really has to stop. Communities can't get over this kind of pattern. Nor should any community be expected to.

From the article, and in Tanya Brown's own words...

“What rights do black women and men have in America?” she asked. “That the police can say, ‘Even though his back was to me, I feel threatened.’ They never said my son had a gun in his hand, so I don’t care if there was a gun,” Brown said, her voice rising in anger and pain.

“There was no excuse for this,” she said, her voice booming now. “My oldest child, my firstborn. I have to put away his clothes like he never existed because it hurts too much to look at them. I have a death certificate that says my son no longer exists. And this officer gets to go home and pillow-talk with his significant other and sleep and call it justifiable. It’s not justifiable; it’s disgusting.”


Mo’ne Davis: Throw Like A Girl

Below is a short doc which tells the story of Mo'ne Davis, the inspiring young Philadelphia girl who stole headlines around the world for her astounding pitching performance during this past year's little league season. While her performance on the diamond is outstanding, her poise and presence in the midst of the international media attention is remarkable and inspirational.

A great watch for children, youth and families everywhere!


Remembering Philadelphia’s MOVE (Bombing) Tragedy – 29 years later

On this day in 1985, Philadelphia police and city officials bombed the Osage Avenue home of the MOVE group.

Just below is a short video from a 2013 discussion about the bombing on HuffPost Live.  Further below is the trailer for the documentary video, Let the Fire Burn, by Jason Osder.

Jason Osder reconstructs the events leading up to and surrounding a dramatic stand-off between the black liberation group MOVE and the Philadelphia police. Created entirely from archival footage, it tells a deadly story. He joins HuffPost Live in studio.


LET THE FIRE BURN official theatrical trailer. from Jason Osder on Vimeo.



“Mourning at Night”: A Film by Students at Philly’s Strawberry Mansion High School

Here's another great example of how we can/should/do engage our children in both developing talents and skills, and telling our stories in ways that make a positive difference.  In fact, this models what we should all see as our responsibility... to use our own talents and skills in ways that make a difference for our children, our families and our community.

Read more about the work they're doing at Strawberry Mansion High School, at Technically Philly.

A short film created entirely by students from Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia, PA. Collaboration between the US Attorney's Office for Eastern PA, WorkReady/EducationWorks, Strawberry Mansion High School and filmmakers/instructors El Sawyer and Jon Kaufman and support from: Derrick Toler, Aidan Un, Christian Hernandez, Catherine Christian.

Mourning at Night- A film made by students at Strawberry Mansion High School, Philadelphia, PA from Jon Kaufman on Vimeo.