On August 15, 2014, the day after celebrating new beginnings by proposing to my wife, I returned to my city in turmoil. Many mourned the death of Michael Brown. The raw footage on the news and social media outlets depicted outrage and uprising.
Ferguson was in a state of emergency, and I was only five minutes away in Jennings where I grew up. Bridging our communities halfway between is Buzz Westfall Plaza. Normally shoppers go to this plaza to buy household items, groceries, and clothing, but in mid-August of that year it was almost inaccessible. In the middle of the parking lot, I saw what appeared to be an outdoor police station, national news satellites, and the National Guard’s tanks. A battle was unfolding.