Al Sharpton reminded everyone that the path to real change will not be a short road during Michael Brown’s funeral.
Michael’s death has incited riots and peaceful protests alike this month as people of every race share their grief over his death and the manner in which it happened, calling for an end to police brutality.
There have been a number of demonstrations in Michael’s name since he was shot dead by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson earlier this month, but Al challenged people to keep fighting for justice even after the anger over his death has subsided.
“A movement means we’ve got to be here for the long haul and turn our chance into change, our demonstration into legislation,” Al said during Michael’s funeral, WashingtonPost.com reports.
Thousands, including celebrities like Tom Joyner and Spike Lee, came out to remember Michael today at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Among the supporters was a retired mailman named Hillard Phillips that used to work in the unarmed teen’s neighborhood.
Hearing Al’s message, Hillard absolutely understood where he was coming from.
“You can’t really overnight change the behavior of a person, but sometimes they can be coerced in a sweet way,” Hillard told CNN.com. “I would hope they could see people coming together in a solemn way to show their respect to someone.”