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August 3-7 Explained: A Mother Seeks Answers, Children’s Museum Faces A Reckoning & PPS Goes Online


Dannielle Brown hasn’t eaten in more than a month. But she says she hasn’t breathed in nearly two years.

“We’re in the day and time of Black Lives Matters, and there is a slogan that is constantly being shared that is ‘I can’t breathe.’ That’s literally this mom,” Brown said. “There was an incident that happened to my son, and since Oct. 4, 2018, this mom has not been able to breathe."

Brown’s son, Marquis Jaylen Brown, died on that day, when he fell from the window of his 16th floor dorm room on Duquesne University’s campus. The school says he was acting erratically before his death and investigations by the university and the City of Pittsburgh concluded that he used a chair to break the window and jumped, all while police officers were in the room. Brown says that story doesn’t add up.

About 100 current or former Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh employees signed an open letter last week criticizing management


The message: “Black lives simply do not matter to museum leadership.” 

Last week, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board of directors officially decided to go online-only for the first nine weeks of school due to the coronavirus pandemic. Board member Kevin Carter introduced the proposal, saying the health and safety of students, teachers and staff is on the line.


Helping explain the headlines:


Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Subscribe on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and Spotify. 

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm
Liz Reid began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor.