Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mildred Braeburn: Rest In Peace for Sticking to Your Principles

Heads Up to Symphony over at Essential Presence for keeping the plight of black women at the forefront.

I am disgusted all over again. Today, Mildred Braeburn an 18 year old young lady from Central Florida was supposed to be celebrating graduating from High School and moving forward with her life. She and her friends should have been making plans to go see Sex And The City, Hulk, Iron Man or some other summer blockbuster movie that most young people plan to see as a group.

She should have been enjoying her last free summer as the road ahead would be occupied with college applications, internships, summer jobs, and puppy love.

Instead, she's dead. She died because she refused to be treated as an object or another notch in the belt of a worthless thug.

According to several news media and blogs, Mildred Braeburn was shot because she refused to be harassed by a group of hoodrats packed in a vehicle who wanted her phone number.

Instead of calling her names and resorting to the "You were ugly anyway" strategy to save face in front of their "boys", one of these pieces of garbage decided to shoot her. She spent a few weeks in a coma and actually passed away last night. You may read more about Mildred by visiting Essential Presence.

Again, I am disgusted. I am also embarrassed, hurt and disappointed. Black men, we have got to do better. At what point did we become amoral and so narcissistic that our collective ego trumps our obligation to black women to be their protectors?

I realize the role that slavery, racism, colonialism and other factors have influenced how we relate to one another. However, I am not convinced that we are unable to change that influence and break the cycle of abuse that we, as black men, inflict upon black women.

I'm not being a chauvinist; I am aware that women are our equals. That's why it's so bewildering to me that treat them with such contempt. I say we as a collective. If you're a black man who is aware of his obligation to black women and you respect and cherish them, fine. We need more men like you. I would challenge you to encourage your brothers, our brothers, who may not have come this realization, to get it together.

We must change.

Black men, the time for excuses has ended. We cannot expect anyone else to care for black women and we must be contrite and repentant of our indifference toward them. Black women have done nothing except exercise an extraordinary amount of patience in their dealings with us. We OWE them that much.

As one of my blog sisters pointed out, "black men have a lot of soul searching to do". I agree. I just hope that during the period of introspection that we can find wholeness. I don't see that right now.

If anyone recognizes the men in the illustrations above please contact Orlando Police Department or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $5000
From Symphony's post:
Again, if the people who know who these men are don't come forward then the
"Black community" is doomed. I don't want to hear about White people, rich
people, the police or the government. Men and women, old and young know who
these men are.

Rest in peace, Mildred Braeburn


Randi523 said...

OH NO! She died??!!! NOOOO!

You can't even reject a sorry fool without worried about getting shot nowadays. I remember being in college in New Orleans, and walking down Bourbon or Canal Street, and having to turn down some (drunk) fool trying to talk to me/get my number. Dang, they could have shot me!

I really still wonder when/where/why the disconnect btwn/ BW and BM happened. I will stand by my assumption that it may have something to do with Black mothers to these Black men. No offense to a Black mother of a GOOD Black man/young man, but I really think a BM treats women/expects from BW how/what he treats/expects from his mother, or what he has seen her do/not do/accept.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

dang thats foul, dang

DeeLiteFull said...

I can't help but to feel so far removed from these brothers. I just can't seem to get into their minds - to feel compelled to take a woman's life, or anyone's for that matter, based on rejection (rejection that they surely weren't experiencing for the first time). It's like you have to treat everyone as a delicate flower and minimize yourself in order to prevent someone from blowing up on you.
I've seen one of my younger (blood) brothers exhibit some questionable levels of anger and frustration in different environments, and I always felt like I had to walk on eggshells to not end up on the receiving end of one of his outbursts. I live across the country so it hasn't been difficult. He's about to turn 30, is in a pretty serious relationship with his newborn son's mother and I have definitely seen a mellowing in his demeanor. Lot's of dirt and detail on our coming of age, but it all goes back to his life experience, and the headaches and heartaches he's had to endure. Lack of self-worth and low self esteem is a mutha.

Curious said...

I want to say that it would be so easy to point to slavery, racism or black motherhood and say that because of that, this happens, but I don't think it is that easy. These things existed 20, 30, 50 years ago but I don't think there was so much black on black crime then. I could be wrong but I don't think there was so much disrespect for women young or old back then either.

I wish knew what the answer was, I really do. But I don't and I don't think anyone else does and I am saddened, not just for Mildred Braeburn, but for black society as a whole.

focusedpurpose said...

hi there-

BlkSeagoat, thank you for picking this story up. i read of this young woman and her friends and was not aware that she had died.

Randi, i think at some point, all black folks, men and women will have to concede that there are black folks making very bad decisions, consistently. i don't think one can say that this evil is the fault/responsibility of the perpetrators' MOTHERS! i think past a certain age, the decisions and consequences rest solely with that person. at a certain point, we are each responsible to exercise our knowledge of right and wrong.

why in the black community, as we know it, does no one think to blame the FATHERS whenever something goes wrong? (for those committed to assigning blame?) why do we not make a mad dash to blame WHITE WOMEN for all the evil some of their sons do all over the planet? sister, i reject that argument; as it seems to only apply to the much maligned, dehumanized, mischaracterized, resilient, still standing, black women of this country. as black women seek to shed excess baggage and refuse to be pack mules, allowing the responsibilities of others to be hung on us can no longer be acceptable. i say this to you with all due respect.

these criminal grown azz men are responsible for their deeds. they have clearly swallowed hook, line, and sinker the non stop message that black women were created for sex and disrespect. these fools are not alone, they are just more extreme than the average black woman hating fools one encounters daily.(both male and female) i speak as a conscious, aware, not afraid of the truth black woman.

i feel sad to my soul that the promise of this young Queen was stolen from us all. may she rest in peace and her family find healing. it saddens to my soul that homicide is becoming the leading cause of death of black women and girls. our brothers seem to have taken some time off from killing each other to start killing us. how's that for equality?!

thanks for allowing me to share.

blessings all,

achoiceofweapons said...

For all the real Brothas out her, we greive not just for her but for ourselves at her loss.


Anonymiss said...


Who failed them? Why is it OK to kill over a deflated ego?

May she rest in peace.

Randi523 said...

I'm responding late, but I'll respond anyway.

FP: I guess I should have put it out there that the fathers are NOT blameless. I guess the reason I didn't is that I know plenty of people (myself included) that grew up w/out a father in the house, or in their lives at all, but they still turned out to be great, upstanding, or at least decent and mildly successful people. Yes, a father should be a man to his "little man", but we have to face reality, they just aren't for some reason. I personally can't understand it. I'm not a parent yet, but I can't see how someone can knowingly create a life but not have an active role in that life.

But I digress. The reality is, the mothers are raising the children, whether we think it's wrong or right.

Ultimately though, like you said, everyone with a working mind is responsible for his/her choices in life, so to a certain extent Momma can't be blamed.

Randi523 said...

And also, I should also apologize for only referring to Black mothers-I did so only b/c we were talking about Black people in this post. Yes, White mothers, Asian mothers, every mother, should do everything possible to not only raise her son to be the best man she can, but also be mindful of what innuendos she may be putting in front of him, i.e. poor companion choices, laziness, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to think if one of those animals was my son I'd be the first one to call the police and then donate the money to the family for her funeral expenses.

It may sound cold or wrong and I'm yet to be put in this position (my son will be 10 next year) but I don't know how to defend (or even love) someone who could do something like that - even my own son.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for speaking the truth!

Ensayn1 said...

These beings know right from wrong, there is no one responsible but, themselves. NO EXCUSES. If no one raised them but themselves, they know its not right to murder, period. These beings were intent on killing someone that night. Sadly, it was this beautiful child that was destroyed by them. She was someone's child and their lives have been changed forever, their lives have been destroyed along with their child, sister, cousin, aunt, niece everyone in the family dies a little bit with her. I know from personal experience.

Blkseagoat, I will go a step further and say that if anyone knows these men and have made no efforts to turn them in, should be prosecuted for aiding and abedding and should spend years in prison.

Don said...

We must change.

I agree.

I think life for black people in general would be so much better if we, the black men of America, put our foot down and stood up for our beautiful black women. If we don't, then who will?

I hate to see that sister lose her life over absolutely nothing. Just minding her own business. Sad.

focusedpurpose said...

BlkSeagoat, Ensayn1, and Don-

brothers, i see you and i appreciate you more than these words convey.

thank you for being men.

focusedpurpose said...

I truly hope that her killer is found... and sadly... I think that many other young women will be in similar situations because they are CONSTANTLY being accosted with leering stares from black men...

I wonder what the dialogue is on the younger women's pages on MySpace and Facebook about this tragedy... I need to hop over and read a few college blogs...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!