• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

The Ferguson Shooting and My Son

ferguson and my son www.janeanesworld.com



The Ferguson shooting and so many incidents like it scare me. I am the mother of four children. Three girls and one son. I call my son, “my son, my son, my golden one.” He has beautiful hopes and dreams for the future.  When Barak Obama was first elected president my son said when he grew up, he would be president and Obama could be his vice president. In the years since his plans and life have remained lofty and good. My son is tall for his age. He is tall, intelligent, talkative and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He argues passionately to prove his points and to have his voice heard. In most contexts, these would all be wonderful things. But, this is 2014 in America and my son is a little black boy.

There are stories on the news almost every day about black on black crime. While those stories are scary, I don’t worry about them much. My son is a good boy. He is in school, does not commit crimes, and by all accounts has a bright and shining future. There are also stories on the news almost every day about black men and black boys who are shot and killed for doing nothing other than being black men and boys. These are the stories that terrify me.




Our family lives on the prestigious Main Line, a suburb of Philadelphia. It is one of the best communities in the world. He is a wonderful boy. That is not hyperbole, exaggeration or bragging on my part. It is a fact, there are witnesses and a myriad of tests, report cards and records to prove the fact. None of that will protect my son from being shot for walking down the street. None of that will protect my son if he decides to answer when questioned by a police officer and the officer does not like his tone, words or attitude.

I have spoken with wives, sisters, and friends of police officers. They tell me that being a police officer is a dangerous job and that officers are shot and killed by black men and black boys and so the officers must be careful. That may be true. But, what is also true is that when black men or black boys kill a police officer, those men and boys are caught, arrested, tried and sentenced to long jail terms.  When police officers kill unarmed black men and black boys they do not go to jail. Instead, other police officers and people around the country rally around, defend the police officers and look for ways to justify their behavior.

This is a scary thing for a mother to know. It is even scarier to have to explain these realities to an 11-year-old boy. My son’s life is precious to me. His life is invaluable to me. He has gifts to offer the world that will make the world a better place.  The world is better with him and will be worse off without him.

This weekend I was blessed to be able to move my daughter into her dorm room at the illustrious Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. When we arrived on campus, we were greeted by a group of handsome, intelligent young men from Morehouse College who asked if we needed help. In seconds, they gathered our eight suitcases and bags carted them up a flight of stairs and placed them neatly in the door room. When they were done, they asked if there was anything else they could do to help. All over campus, the Morehouse men were helping their Spelman sisters move in and get acquainted with college life. Later, each Spelman woman will be assigned a Morehouse man as a brother and the two young people will help each other get through their college years.


One day my son will be a Morehouse man or a man at some good and wonderful college or university. When police officers look at him, will they see what I see?  Will they see an intelligent, kind, tall, handsome, talented young man? Or will they simply see someplace of place bullets?

60 thoughts on “The Ferguson Shooting and My Son”
  1. I think it is incredibly sad that we still live in a world where people are judged or profiled one way or the other by skin color. Your son sounds like a wonderful boy!

  2. So natural to have all these concerns as a parent. Sometimes I’m just at a loss for words at what I see on the news………it’s heartbreaking.

  3. I’m sad for this situation but isn’t it nice to look at your family (son) and know just know they are going to be just fine in the world…and that’s because of their upbringing…because of you…momma!

  4. I thing what you’re feeling is something that all parents feel, “Will everyone recognize my child for what they are or will they be typecast.” Profiling of every type needs to stop no child is less because of their race, gender, their parents are gay, or even because they have less money than the other kids.

  5. Bullets…they are not going to see anything any better until they feel like they will have to pay when our sons DIE. Im so mad that I cant talk about it.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this post. You are an amazing woman and mother. I commend you for wanting the best for your children. Way to go girl!

  7. This entire situation was super sad. I hop that the police are more cautious in the future and that racial profiling stops.

  8. I can’t even fathom what happened in Ferguson. It’s a scary thing. My one will be going off to college next year. Bestill my heart beating outside my body and walking around college. oy~

  9. I am sure police officers have stories about problems dealing with black men and boys. I am also sure they have stories about problems dealing with white men and boys. My problem, my fear and my concern is that it seems to be okay to kill black men and boys because there is no punishment to be faced when an innocent black man or black boy is killed. I am concerned about my husband and my son who are law abiding, non-dangerous and not threatening.

  10. I am not too familiar with this incident, but I do know, no one deserves to be killed. God is the only giver and taker of life in my eyes.

  11. Being a mom of African American children I always wonder how safe they are. We are the only AA family in our neighborhood and while my kids are safe (at least I think they are), I am always afraid that there will be that one person who hates our kind and try to take it out on my kids. We need to be strong for our kids and I think the world needs to be a bit more educated that no matter what our skin color is, we’re all human beings. If you cut us, don’t we also bleed red?

  12. It’s taken me a long time to comment on this post because it really struck a chord with me. I live far far away from America, somewhere that is a lot more tolerant to the different races that make up this amazing world…But my little boy is half Afro-Brazilian and I’ve seen first-hand the kind of prejudice that his family is treated with in Brazil. I really can’t imagine what it would be like to bring up a child in a place that makes you feel like this Janeane.
    You’re lucky you have such a beautiful boy and he’s going to have an amazing future ahead of him – Especially with that cute cheeky little grin 🙂

  13. Can’t believe all the shootings that I am here on the news. It’s so sad for the kids can grow up like we did back in the day.

  14. I feel your pain, Janeane. It is a scary world. I have several dear friends with black sons who are good boys, and it breaks my heart to think that they have to live with this fear, that other people might look at those dear boys and see a danger that doesn’t exist, just because of the color of their skin. I’m sure the police have their share of stories that give them reason to pause when they are dealing with black boys and men on the street, but I pray that with enough mothers sharing their feelings as articulately and rationally as you, things will slowly change for the better.

  15. This is a really moving post. It is so shocking to me that in 2014 these things are happening.

  16. I’ve stayed away from the news channels this past week. Upsets me and I just don’t understand.

  17. Janeane, it is so scary and sad that you and your family have to think about and worry about this. It is heartbreaking and unfathomable to think that ours is a world where this still can happen. Thank you for sharing and may your beautiful son always be safe and free of harm.

  18. The fact that you even have to ask that question in your tweet is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. I guess it’s also one of the greatest opportunities. I think that moms like you, raising children the way you are, will be the answer.

  19. I really hope they get to the bottom of it. AWFUL. Your son is awesome and you’re an awesome mom. He’s lucky to have you. They all are.

  20. I hope your daughter has a wonderful experience at Spelman. it sounds like it’s a good start already.

    and for your son, and so many others- your post, as well as others i’ve read this week- they hurt my heart. it sickens me that we are in 2014 and mothers and daughters still have to feel this fear. it’s not ok.

    i do think your son is lucky- he’s got such potential and he has you for his mama. i’ve read dozens of your posts and you are a wise, intelligent and resourceful woman.

  21. Injustice is always heartbreaking. Mamas always have a heart pull, myself included when a child is involved.

    On a happier note, congrats to your daughter on her college move! I love that the young men were helping the ladies move in!

  22. This is definitely scary for parents. Your child getting killed and then not getting justice for it is even more painful and heartbreaking!

  23. It is sad that in 2014 a post like this needs to be written. Your son sounds like a wonderful boy with a brilliant and prosperous future in front of him. He has a great family and good support…this will take him far.

  24. It’s so sad that this post even has to be written! It is 2014 and sometimes I feel like we haven’t moved very far. I’m glad to see that your son has such an amazing mom, and issues like this are at the top of my prayer journal. <3

  25. I think your son will be okay. Your post is very touching and eye opening though.

  26. I am so touched by this post. The recent events hurt my heart so much but it sounds like your son has an amazing mother to help guide him down the correct paths he should go down.

  27. These stories are very unfortunate to read. I can only hope things change soon!

  28. That is the question. What can you teach your children when good behavior is not enough to keep them from getting into trouble!

  29. This is such a moving post. Having to worry for our children’s safety and well being is a heavy weight.

  30. Jeneane, this is a breathtaking post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. And congrats to your daughter. What I wouldn’t do to be starting college over again!

  31. Your son sounds like an amazing young man! I’m keeping the Ferguson community in my prayers.

  32. I never understood true fear until I had a baby. I would give everything to keep her safe and it terrifies me to know that that someday that may not be enough. I wish you and you family the best

  33. There is no excuse for those sworn to protect and serve to abuse their authority/power. In NYC I have not only witnessed this behavior first hand, but experienced it myself as a teen when my cousin and I were lost on our way to an amusement park and we stopped a police car at a traffic light to ask if we were going the right way and they pulled us over, searched our car and demanded that we hand over our handbags. I asked why, and kept questioning and was told ‘Oh you think you are smart’ and I told him he should ask my uncle an NYPD Captain, that’s when their abuse stopped. But we drove right to precinct and demanded to see their boss and we did report them.

    Right in front of my building last week two cops pulled a 70 year old asian man to the ground for absolutely NO reason. It was in front of several local businesses and we all ran out and pulled out cameras.

    It’s just an outrage that you have to live in fear in your own City, and not just of the criminals but the police too! Who do we teach our children to trust if they are in trouble?

  34. It really is sad what kind of world our children have to grow up in. It’s absolutely horrible how some people have no regard for human life whatsoever!

  35. I have found myself teaching my son to stay out of the way of police officers. Be respectful and never give them any reason to harass him. Unfortunately that may still not be enough. He just may be targeted because he is the black kid of a single mom. I pray for him everyday

  36. I thought as a country we were past what I am seeing in Ferguson. it is scary. I wish I had some words that would make everything better and make others feel safe and I’ve got nothing 🙁

  37. I firmly believe your son has a bright future because he has such a great mom to guide him in the right direction.

  38. I often tell people that my family is black 24 hours a day and 7 days per week. Awareness of black problems in America is not something we think about only when there is a tragedy in the news. We must always beware and be aware and hope that those in authority will be fair.

  39. I blogged on this same topic today. It has taken me a while to address it because it not only frightens me, it depletes me of energy. I’ve experienced throughout my life, with my parents being social activists and because I am African American. I’m tired. Yet, I cannot sit down on this because my sons are black, and my daughter’s husband may be a black man, but my grandsons will definitely be black. My nephews are black men and my male cousins are black men. There is no time to rest, the work has to be daily.

  40. Yes, mamas love their kids. For me, I find strength and hope in praying that God blesses my children and keeps a cover of protection around them.

  41. Blessings to you and your babies also One thing all mothers can agree on is that our children are precious to us and we want them protected, loved and alive.

  42. {{hugs}} I think this topic can span ethnicity. As a mom to a boy myself I worry for him too.
    And then I pray. That God will allow him to grow up to be a good man, a strong man and loving man. That he will guide his footsteps and allow me the peace while watching him grow.

  43. It sounds like you have a lot to be proud of. I have a son too, and he’s my golden boy! We live in such a small rural area, that I don’t feel threatened or afraid at all, but I know that police brutality and profiling goes on all the time. I understand that they’re afraid but they’re also quick to act. WAY to quick to act in many instances where no action was ever needed. Blessings to you and yours!

  44. I agree Janeane. I am not leaving either. This is my home. 🙂

  45. I’m really at a loss of words. Its unfortunate that we live in a world where we have to fear those who are meant to protect. Seems senseless and yet endless.. 🙁

  46. It is scary to think about our sons being in danger just for being alive. I do not want to leave America. I am not leaving. This is my home. My people built it and I know my way around. My concern is that I want my husband and son to be safe being black and living in America.

  47. My son, my son, my golden one (22 years old in December) had been in Florida only a few months before Trayvon was killed. What is a mother (a parent) to do? I pray. I beseech him to be aware. Now I have a 6 month old grandson, a gentle 6’6″ son-in-law and my daughter is truly thinking of migrating away from the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free. America, America…smh

  48. Such a great post about your son, he has a bright future! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  49. I’m so moved by your post– thanks for sharing. And congrats to your daughter– Spelman has a beautiful campus!

Comments are closed.