I AM RASHAWN BRAZELL
From the estate of SmilingontheDL (lost documents found after his death):
Last summer, I was a Luke and Leroy’s groupie.
Keith Boykin’s website announced that his partner was switching a professional after-work gathering from Bardos to Lukes. I attended the Launch Party and found myself on Seventh Ave for the next eight weeks in a row. (YES, a true groupie. I even had Keith sign my copy of One More River to Cross. I’m such a dork.)
I later noticed that a closed friend of mine, X boyfriend was also a frequent attendee. (He was there when my friend took me to my first G-Life Club. Y’all remember Brooklyn Cafe. I almost fainted. LOL). Every Thursday, for at least a half hour, the X and I would cut a rug on the second floor. One day in June, we were wildin out and this young boy came between us and started freaking us both. I thought to myself, “Why is this little boy at Lukes?” After that occasion, I began to see the young man’s friends more often.
In March 2005, when I saw his photo on Steven’s Blog, I couldn’t remember where I knew him. After seeing the picture on e-mails and blogs multiple times, I suddenly felt sick because I remembered this young man’s smile when we were dancing last summer.
I was frustrated! I was sad! I was confused! I was mad! I was GUILITY! The brutal murder and dismemberment of this 19-year old black man was and still is APPALLING.
The Post from Larry and Troy inspired me to get my eyes off of the computer screen and assist physically with the Rashawn Brazell Collective. I don’t think I was ready for the meeting. Up until then, I never had been in a room of Black G-Life men outside the club. So, I traveled to the POCC office. Luckily, the first person I saw was Frank and he gave me a surprised and welcoming smile. I also noticed Larry and Merv.
The meeting was serious! Lots of arguing and folks going on and on! However, that initial meeting was filled with an unbelievable amount of passion. I honestly wanted to cry from the sight of being around a group of successful black SGL men, who came together for Rashawn Brazell.
After attending a sub-committee meeting, I found out I wasn’t ready to take on this fight publicly. I even wrote a long post about it, but didn’t post because I felt most of my readers wouldn’t understand the agony I was putting myself through. I believe I’ve assisted with the Collective’s endeavors by coordinating a series of Stop the Violence events in my local community.
The Rashawn Brazell Collective fight continues.
It continues with all of us. We know his story. We must continue to share it with our peers, with the effort to eradicate violence and social injustices. On Sunday, August 28 at Luke and Leroy’s, the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship is hosting its official Launch Party. Please come out and support. Today is a Bright Day! The love we have for our dearly departed Brother will be filled all over Luke and Leroy’s. If you have more than $10, give some more. This scholarship will help another G-Life member become an advocate for you and I.
I AM Rashawn Brazell! Well, I could have been and so could you!