THE NEW YORKER: She hoped that she’d be able to tell her son’s side of the story, or, as she writes to him in the book, to “represent, baby.” She wants people to know things like her son’s full name: Michael Orlandus Darrion Brown. That hers is a large, tight-knit family, with traditions, such as fishing and barbecue. That from the moment her son was born, when she was sixteen, she called him Mike Mike. That he would lean over and wrap her in a cuddly hug. That he had been learning how to drive in her old Chevy Equinox, a vehicle she will now never get rid of. That he had graduated from high school three months early. She wants to remind people that he was unarmed on the day he was killed.
Since Brown’s death, McSpadden has become a protester against police brutality and a quasi-celebrity who appeared in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” video, looking regal on a throne, holding a picture of her son. McSpadden met Beyoncé at Prince’s “Rally 4 Peace” benefit concert, in Baltimore. She’s ambivalent about the spotlight, and has felt hesitant to even go out to the mailbox without having her hair done, fearing public scrutiny. A black S.U.V. arrived, and the group climbed in. The first stop was Sirius XM radio, where McSpadden was interviewed before a small audience. […] McSpadden was asked if she had forgiven Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown. “No,” she said. MORE