The father of Michael Brown and other activists in Ferguson, Missouri, where the Black Lives Matter movement broke into the national spotlight in 2014, are now demanding $20 million from the Black Lives Matter organization following a report that it raised over $90 million last year.
Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by a White police officer in Ferguson in August 2014, sparking the first wave of Black Lives Matter unrest in the country. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which was founded by three female activists just a year earlier, played a significant role in organizing the Ferguson protests.
Last year, the BLM foundation took in just over $90 million following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, The Associated Press reported last month.
Following the AP’s report, Michael Brown Sr. and the International Black Freedom Alliance (IBFA) are demanding some of that money be reinvested in Ferguson.
“Where is all that money going?” Mr. Brown Sr. asked Tuesday in a press release from the IBFA. “How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?”
“Today, we hold Black Lives Matter accountable,” IBFA co-founder Tory Russell said in a video statement alongside Mr. Brown. “The movement that has catapulted into the limelight has forgotten about Ferguson and the freedom fighters … We’re not asking for a handout, we’re coming for what we deserve.”
The IBFA said in a tweet that Mr. Brown Sr. had only received a total of $500 from any Black Lives Matter-affiliated group. The activists say they want $20 million to go toward building a community center in honor of the late Brown and toward other families affected by police brutality.
In the AP’s report last month, the BLM foundation said it plans to use its endowment to focus on economic justice and reinvesting in Black communities nationwide.
“We want to uplift Black joy and liberation, not just Black death. We want to see Black communities thriving, not just surviving,” the organization said.
“One of our biggest goals this year is taking the dollars we were able to raise in 2020 and building out the institution we’ve been trying to build for the last seven and a half years,” co-founder Patrisse Cullors told the AP.