Community continues Thanksgiving tradition honoring Alajawan Brown, 12-year-old killed in 2010

A community turning tragedy into good. A Thanksgiving event that started in 2013 – in the memory of Alajawan Brown, re-united many to share a warm Thanksgiving meal this year.

Every year the public is invited to a free Thanksgiving meal honoring Alajawan Brown. He was a 12-year-old Skyway boy, who was shot in the back and killed when he got off a bus in 2010.

"So the Thanksgiving event is in honor of my son," said Alajawan's mother, Ayanna Brown. "He was shot and killed on purpose, but in the case of mistaken identity when he was 12 years old."

Brown says these meals are a reflection of her son, and hopes that those that eat the meals connect with each other as a community.

"When Alajawan was alive, he always said he wanted to make a difference in his community, and one of the things he was notorious for was for feeding people," said Brown.

Family, friends and the community came together on Thursday to share a warm thanksgiving meal. Among them, Alajawan’s nephew, who was too young to remember his uncle.

"I love my uncle, I was too young to like remember him, but he’s a great guy," said Semaj Croome. "I’ve heard a lot from my mother and my grandmother and I appreciate him and my family."

Croome shared that he admired his uncle for being a young hard-working man, despite his young age and for working hard to get his own school supplies and shoes. 

200 meals were given to the community in Thursday's dinner event.

"The best thing about thanksgiving is just watching your family eat together," said Croome. "It’s just nice to have everyone in the same place."

Gone, but not forgotten, Alajawan’s memory lives on in many hearts and the community, 12 years after he was killed in a senseless act of gun violence. 

Alajawan Brown Foundation hosts many community events throughout the year. For more information, click here.