CNN invited the mothers of Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown to speak with Don Lemon about healing and survival, character assassinations of their sons and more in an emotional interview that offered hope to Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden. It’s almost like an unfortunate sisterhood of mothers who have lost their sons when there was absolutely no reason for each of them to die the way they did. But the silver lining here is that Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton and Bell’s mother, Valerie Bell can offer Lesley advice that will keep her encouraged at this extremely tragic time in her life.
When Sybrina embraced Lesley, she said, “Just lean on Him. He going to cover you. He going to cover your family. And He’s going to make sure you’re okay. McSpadden’s head remained bowed from the time she met Sybrina Fulton and Valerie Bell and Valerie said, “You have to keep your head up, no matter what is done. Keep your head up. You can see your son in you.”
Lesley was quiet for most of the interview and Sybrina and Valerie said all they could to encourage Lesley. The video is a tear-jerker, so get your tissues ready.
Here’s a few of the most powerful moments from the interview:
Valerie & Sybrina’s advice on moving on:
Bell: Keep the memories in your heart, that’s going to help you to continue to carry on with your son, and believing and having faith in God will also help you and the close family members. That’s what keeps me, the memories of my son. He always did tell me, “Ma, I got this.” So I’m telling you, ma, you got this. It’s okay to cry, scream, I still do. It’s eight years, but you got this.
Fulton: You have to focus on when he was smiling. You have to focus on his first day of school, and you have to focus on Christmas day and things like that. The happier times. Put a picture up when he was happy. And you have to focus on those. Just don’t focus on the death, because that’s going to eat away at you.
What Valerie & Sybrina can offer Lesley:
McSpadden: They’re speaking to me from experience. You know? They are offering me something right now that I can’t tell you what it is. But it’s something. And something is more than nothing.
On Being Whole Again:
Fulton: I don’t think it’s a matter of being a whole. What I think it is is a matter of a new life. This is the new life. I can never go back to who I was and what I was because I’m missing something very precious in my life and something very special.
Bell: Losing my son was like losing a part of your body. But you remember, you remember what that part of your body has done for you. Like if you lose an arm, you knew what that arm did. So my thing is keeping the memories that will keep you and carry you on.
In these sad times, it’s a beautiful thing to see these women come together to support one another. Our hearts bleed for mothers who have to bury their sons because of some senseless act of violence, whether at the hands of police or not. Join us in our efforts to give voice to the #YourLifeMatters movement because every single life, matters.
Check Out This Gallery Of Michael Brown Supporters:
Hands Up, Don't Shoot: Ferguson Sparks Photo Movement
1. A Call To Action
The fatal shooting of yet another unarmed teen, Michael Brown has caused outrage that's gone way beyond Ferguson, Missouri where the shooting happened. Protestors from all over are gathering, raising two hands in the air--the classic gesture of surrender--and turning the passive move into defiance for the sake of protesting Brown's death. Hands Up, Don't Shoot has become the definition of Ferguson protests.
6. Young Black Men Support
Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
7. No Justice, No Peace!
A demonstrator raises his hands and holds up a sign during a rally to protest the shooting death of Mike Brown.
8. Hands Up
Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson.
9. Don't Shoot
A demonstrator in a business suit raises his hands during a rally to protest.
10. Beyond Color
Why is the officer looking at this White woman, who is supporting Mike Brown, in this way?
11. Youth Movement
A young man raising his hands in support of Mike Brown.
12. Don't Shoot
A White woman with her hands raised in submission with the message on her palms.
13. Generational Support
An older woman raises her hands in support of Mike Brown and the Hands Up, Don't Shoot movement.
14. Activists Of Our Generation
Protest over the killing of unarmed teen, Mike Brown in Ferguson.
15. Gathering Crowds
A capacity crowd gathers at Greater St. Marks Family Church along with the family of Michael Brown and civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the killing of brown and the civil unrest resulting from his death.
16. Mike Brown's Mother
Lesley McSpadden (L), the mother of slain teenager Michael Brown joins a capacity crowd of guests at Greater St. Marks Family Church to discuss the killing of her son and the civil unrest resulting from his death.
17. The Revolution Will Be Socially Shared
Demonstrators raise their hands and chant "hands up, don't shoot" during a protest over the killing of Michael Brown.
Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks, raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson.
19. T-Shirt With A Message
Demonstrators gather along West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown.
20. RIP Mike
Demonstrators gather along West Florissant Avenue to protest Mike Brown's death.
21. Hands Up
Demonstrators gather along West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Mike Brown.
22. We Are One Race
A demonstrator holds banner during a rally to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen, Mike Brown.
23. Do I Fit The Description?
Mohamed Bangoura, 21, holds a sign after speaking about a recent incident when he was pulled aside by the Boston Police while walking home one day because he was told, "he fit the description."
24. Am I Next?
Demetrus Washington joins other demonstrators protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
25. A Happy Protestor
Demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
26. We Are Praying With My Feet
Demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
27. Masked Supporter
Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Mike Brown.
28. Just A Young Black Man, Walking
Mothers need to have conversations with their sons regarding their lives and how to stay safe with police.
29. Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae grabbed her Wondaland camp to offer support to Mike Brown.
30. A Stand Off
Ferguson police face protestors who refuse to give up.
31. Even Kids Are Involved
Wow, the impact this movement will have on children is incredible! They know activism at such young age!
32. The Power Of Banning Together
Demonstrators protest the shooting of Mike Brown.
33. We Want Answers
Ferguson residents challenge police with their hands up.
34. Mommy/Daughter Team
How amazing is it that mothers are teaching their kids the importance of being down for the cause.
35. Brave Supporters
Protestors rally around Mike Brown's death
36. We Need Justice
It's a beautiful thing to see our young Black men commit to change!
37. Black Teens Support
As the tear gas fills the air, Black teens stay focused on the cause.
38. Hands Up
Protestors support Mike Brown's family.
39. Don't Shoot!
One brave soul spray paints his chest with the message.
40. Passive Aggressive
Sure, the hands up move may seem passive, but this protest turns it into an aggressive response to police brutality.
41. The People Flee
People flee as police advance on protestors firing tear gas and rubber bullets to force them from the business district into nearby neighborhoods.
42. Let There Be Peace
Supporters go down to their knees with hands up for Hands Up, Don't Shoot.
43. Howard University Students
HBCU, Howard University's students ban together to offer their support.
44. Reverend Al Sharpton
Reverend Al Sharpton is often one of the first responders of racial wrongdoing. He's been very supportive of the Brown family.
45. Hell No, We Won't Go!
Residents and their supporters were protesting the shooting.
What a beautiful sight to see! People banning together to fight for our rights!
47. Assume The Position
A man is approached by the police while his hands are up.
48. A Sniper, Really?
You can see one person's hands up in reaction to the sniper.
49. Never Give Up
On the 4th day of violent protests, brave souls don't give up.
50. Is It A Race Thing?
Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Mike Brown.
51. A Powerful Image
Police approach a man on his knees who's hands are up and his back is turned.