BET paid tribute to Michael Brown Saturday by honoring the slain teen’s family at the network’s annual Hip Hop Awards for a symbolic “moment of unity.”
Brown’s parents – Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden – joined performers Common, Vince Staples and Jay Electronica on the stage and stood with their hands in the air, a symbolic gesture of defense after eye-witnesses say they saw the 18-year-old put his hands up in surrender when a police officer opened fire and killed him on Aug. 9.
Entertainer Snoop Dogg hosted the ceremony and teamed up with The League of Young Voters for a panel with Brown’s family to discuss the fallout of the teen’s death, which sparked weeks of protests and exposed deep racial tensions not only in the St. Louis suburb, but across the U.S.
Snoop Dogg was among the thousands who marched along the streets of Ferguson, MO., and attended Brown’s funeral last month.
BET will air the award ceremony on its network on Oct. 14.