As always, thank you for being here. And welcome, new subscribers! This week’s issue is dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin, who was murdered 10 years ago, and to the contributions of Black Lives Matter, which was founded after George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Usually, this newsletter features ar
As always, thank you for being here. And welcome, new subscribers!
This week’s issue is dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin, who was murdered 10 years ago, and to the contributions of Black Lives Matter, which was founded after George Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Usually, this newsletter features articles from a variety of publications. All four pieces in today’s issue, however, come from one source, a recent special edition of New York Magazine. It’s excellent. I read (and recommend) all 20 articles, but I’m highlighting my favorite four: a comprehensive timeline of the past ten years, a profile of Trayvon’s mother, a profile of Trayvon’s friend, and an essay pondering the definition of racial progress. My hope is that you find at least one piece significant, and if you do, I’d love to hear from you.
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Lindsay Peoples-Wagner and Morgan Jerkins: “On February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, because as a Black boy walking in a gated community, he was deemed ‘suspicious.’ Zimmerman’s acquittal appalled a nation often willfully blind to the vulnerability of living while Black. Ten years later, Black Lives Matter has grown from a hashtag to a protester’s cry to a cultural force that has reshaped American politics, society, and daily life.”
+ In addition to serving as a table of contents to this powerful collection, this resource offers an outstanding timeline of events over the past ten years, focusing on the police killings of unarmed Black people, the rise of Black Lives Matter, the white backlash to racial progress, and the uprising after the murder of George Floyd. (30 min)
Derecka Purnell, quoting Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin: “ ‘What makes me angry is the fact that you have so many people that want to do something, but they don’t. You got so many people who comment and who post and who are talking heads on the news, and what are they doing? Nothing.’ Fulton’s eyebrows arch inward, and she raises her pitch and pace. ‘You have to be active. You have to participate. You have to get involved. Those are the types of things that make me angry. You can’t just share a story on social media and figure, Okay, I did my part, you know?’ ” (14 min)
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May 31, 2020: A young boy at a George Floyd protest in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Photo: DJ E-Clyps[/caption]
Bridget Read: “When Ashley Burch remembers her friend Trayvon Martin, she thinks of him walking around Carol City, the neighborhood north of Miami where they were teenagers together. They weren’t old enough to drive, so Trayvon walked nearly everywhere when he couldn’t catch the bus, sometimes so far that he would call Ashley to come and pick him up. ‘With what?’ she would ask. He would joke his Cadillac was in the shop — the nickname he had for his bicycle.
“Burch rarely talks openly about Trayvon. She has tried to move on and into her adult life. But she has never changed the background of her Facebook profile: a now-infamous black-and-white photo of Trayvon in his hoodie, looking straight on, taken by his computer camera. ‘I don’t want anybody to forget about him,’ she says.” (5 min)
Camonghne Felix: “President Obama was president for eight years. I’m 30 now and staring down the greatest threat to African American voting rights in generations. A climate crisis threatens the livelihoods of the Black and poor, of the Black and coastal, of the Black and immigrant. We face a wealth gap that has only worsened in the last decade, leaving Black communities even more vulnerable to the failures of late-stage capitalism than they already were before the First Black Presidency. As the killings of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray, the loop of uprisings that followed, and the anti-capitalist, socialist movement of Occupy Wall Street shaped our perspectives, young people of the Black Lives Matter generation learned quickly, and with much devastation, that representation had a hole in it where our ideas of justice rooted in policy dematerialized.” (8 min)
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