By Mark F. Gray
Staff Writer
mgray@afro.com

For most people who knew Prince George’s Community College freshman Antwan Brown, he was the life of the party.  An infectious personality, who brought joy to so many, Brown immediately became one of the most popular students in the Fall 2019 freshman class.  However, for those knew and came to know him during his only semester of college on the Largo campus, there was something boiling beneath the surface.

Brown apparently took his life by jumping in front of a Metro train at Capitol Heights station in early December.  Surveillance video showed a man fitting his description who “intentionally placed himself in the path of the train” that appears to have taken his life. The irony of the incident is that Brown had been in what seemed to be good spirits in the final hours of his life after a campus party until a phone call sent him over the edge.

According to several of his classmates, who are still minors and spoke to the AFRO on the condition of anonymity, Brown may have been dealing with depression and whoever called ultimately sent him to his breaking point.  Two students, who claim to have taken him to the station and were in telephone contact with Brown seconds before the apparent suicide, say that despite constantly being in good spirits, they could sense he was “dealing with his personal demons.”  The trio became a surrogate family after they met at Bowie State late last summer on a local college tour before enrolling at PGCC.

Friends of Antwan Brown, who reportedly committed suicide at the Capitol Heights Metro in early December, said that mental health challenges and alleged bullying led to the Prince George’s Community College freshman’s suicide. (Courtesy Photo)

Brown was active in several student organizations including one that was a social and support group for the college’s LGBTQ community.  In what should have been a sanctuary for him, the students who talked with the AFRO said that another member of that organization knew how to antagonize Brown and would allegedly “bully” him.  Although the sometimes contentious relationship never got physical, the constant verbal jabs would often upset Brown leading to emotional responses that included arguments and tears.  

The two students, one male and one female, also say that the supposed antagonist was heard after the news of Brown’s death became official saying, “I hope he rots in hell.”

Brown had been dealing with that kind of shaming throughout the semester, although the college is designated as a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community according to sources.  Despite the challenges with the fellow member of the organization, Brown was apparently reluctant to seek any intervention from campus authorities and never felt like his life was in danger.  Brown was noted as a peaceful person by his peers and would often move forward by trying to laugh the incidents off.

Brown’s popularity with the student body seemed to be a catalyst for the acts of apparent jealousy that would lead to the verbal attacks and constant antagonizing.  Despite the internal strife he was dealing with, Brown would never lose his composure by retaliating with actions or words.

“I don’t understand how someone who was from the same world would always be so ignorant towards Antwan,” the male student said with his head down while fighting to hold back tears during the conversation.  “No matter how much the words bothered him, Antwan always tried to remain positive and never let anybody know what was going on deep down inside. You could tell it was bothering him but he always tried to play it off.”

The students also intimated that often Brown would arrive on campus giving the impression of confidence and happiness.  However, he never shared any family stories and may have been carrying burdens from his personal life that he could no longer deal with that may have led to his ultimate fate.