Let Black Kids Just Be Kids

George Zimmerman admitted at his 2012 bail hearing that he misjudged Trayvon Martin’s age when he killed him. “I thought he was a little bit younger than I am,” he said, meaning just under 28. But Trayvon was only 17. What may be most tragic about Mr. Zimmerman’s miscalculation is that it’s widespread. To many people, black boys seem older than they are: In one study, people overestimated their ages by 4.5 years. This contributes to a false perception that black boys are less childlike than … [Read more...]

Social Media and New Civil Rights Movement

View image | gettyimages.com he revolution will not only be televised, but apparently it will be uploaded, downloaded, streamed, posted and tweeted as well. What America has been witnessing—from the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Mike Brown in Ferguson, to Eric Garner in Staten Island, Walter Scott in North Charleston and Freddie Gray in Baltimore—is the birth of a new civil rights movement.  But this movement is a little different from your parents’ or your grandparents’ civil … [Read more...]

In the Name of Trayvon: Turn Grieving Into Action

Not very long ago, people of color were murdered with impunity. Schools were segregated by law. Voting resulted in death threats. And, then, we changed America. We can do it again. Nothing can return Sybrina Martin’s son. However, anger can become action. Let’s make Trayvon Martin’s case an agent for action. George Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed Trayvon Benjamin Martin, 17, on February 26, 2012. Martin was unarmed. Zimmerman claimed self-defense. The jury believed him. This … [Read more...]

Trayvon: Racism in the Age of Obama

I have been working in the movement since I was 16 years old, only a year younger than Trayvon, I am now turning 24. In the last 8 years since I have been politically conscious I have seen some truly disturbing things that I must, at this point in my development as a leader in the movement, begin to address. Firstly I want to talk about Trayvon Martin and why this trial has impacted me on so many levels, and then I want to talk about how we are living in the most institutionally racist time … [Read more...]

How Racial Profiling Feels

When news first broke about the death of Trayvon Martin, protesters held demonstrations across the country where they wore hoodies and held cans of iced tea and bags of Skittles, just like Martin did on the day he was killed by then neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. The protesters chanted, “We are all Trayvon Martin.” For many, that slogan was not mere rhetoric; it was literal. On July 20, a rally of Trayvon Martin supporters gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown to demand … [Read more...]

Hunger For Justice

On Wednesday, July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other peaceful non-violent action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. Those who are supporting this effort include: James Cromwell, Angela Davis, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Chris Hedges, Alice Walker, and Cornel West. We fast knowing that the criminalization that killed Trayvon Martin, and the criminalization that justifies the torture of prisoners in solitary confinement are one and the … [Read more...]

Trayvon Died for Our Sins

For Trayvon Martin and his family I feel a sadness that will not lift. For America, I feel a dread that certain horrors repeat again and again, chief among them the murder of young men of color, not only with impunity for their killers but under the cover of judicial sanction. A re-armed George Zimmerman walks free, after a trial in which references to racism were forbidden by the judge. The unarmed Trayvon Martin, under the interpretation of the law, had no right to stand his ground against an … [Read more...]

FAME Pasadena Presents: Prayer, Prophetic Study and Peaceful Protest for Trayvon Martin

A Call To Action! We have talked about it, preached about it, complained about it and talked some more. Today, make the conscience decision to act and join FAME Pasadena on Wednesday at 6pm as we engage the community to collectively raise our voices in peaceful protest and righteous indignation that enough is enough! In light of the recent injustices from the gutting out of the Voters Rights Act, to the imminent threat of Affirmative Action, to mass incarceration in a prison industrial … [Read more...]

The Zimmerman Acquittal: America’s Racist God

The not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case has me thinking a lot about a book I first encountered in seminary, Is God a White Racist?, by the Rev. Dr. Bill Jones. As a budding seminary student, it took me by surprise. Now, as a wiser, older professor looking at the needless death of Trayvon Martin, I have to say: I get it. God ain’t good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in an nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a … [Read more...]