Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Offers to Pay for Michael Brown’s Funeral

Fraternity also challenges other black Greek organizations to take action against the latest attacks on young black men

Michael Brown (Image: Facebook)

Michael Brown (Image: Facebook)

Standing by its commitment to justice and equality for African Americans, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has agreed to cover all expenses for the memorial and funeral service for Michael Brown,18, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer on Aug. 9.

In a letter to members of the organization, the fraternity’s General President Mark S. Tillman called members of the organization to take action, and he informed the National Pan Hellenic that action needs to be taken nationwide in response to recent attacks on young black men.

“I also contacted the leaders of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity to convene a meeting and address how our organizations can respond to this latest attack on young black men. Collectively, our organizations represent over 600,000 members and approximately 3,000 chapters. It is my intent to work with my peers to develop a unified effort on this issue,” Tillman said.

Brown’s funeral arrangements are under the direction of Austin A. Layne Mortuary, Inc., with services expected to take place Monday, Aug. 25 at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. Brown’s uncle, Rev. Charles Ewing will deliver the eulogy, with Rev. Al Sharpton also scheduled to speak.

Read Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. offer letter to funeral director Layne and the Brown family in full below.



  • Stanley Graham

    Perhaps General President Mark S. Tillman is not keeping up with the news when he stated, “…recent attacks on young black men.” He later states, “…how our organizations can respond to this latest attack on young black men.” There are plenty of examples of young black men being attacked by non-blacks but it is becoming increasingly clear this is not one of them. President Tillman should be lauded for supporting the family of Mr. Brown in any and every way possible, but turning Mr. Brown into a martyr before all the facts are in seems a bit premature to me.

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    I have experienced the viciousness of police abuse after attempting to expose a problem involving a powerful corporation. The local police chief (Cincinnati Police Chief) at the time was James Craig, an African American. Craig showed no respect or consideration for me as a citizen. He instead had his officers harass me. I was witnessing a well-established corporation having influence on the head of the police force.

    I sent a letter about the police harassment to Mark Mallory, the then-Cincinnati Mayor, and also an African American. I never received a response. I was witnessing a well-positioned corporation having influence on the head of the city.

    A year later, after writing to the new mayor of Cincinnati, John Cranley—a White mayor—did I receive a response and was able to speak to someone about the police harassment I encountered. I am African American and needed a White mayor to show a basic level of consideration for me as a citizen of the city. The Black police chief and Black mayor were too afraid of the powerful corporation.

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