Trayvon Martin

Recent Articles

Run & Shoot League ‘catches’ kids to grow future leaders




The idea for the Run & Shoot High School Basketball League came about three years ago, says its founder-director. He didn’t know at the time where it would lead. When Dunwoody Academy moved into North High’s building in 2010, Minneapolis Public Schools ruled that two high school sports programs couldn’t run out of the same location. “But we still had a lot of kids at the school who wanted to play [basketball],” recalls Jamil Jackson, then the school’s boys’ JV coach. As a result, he assembled a traveling team to play in local and regional AAU and youth basketball tournaments. Continue Reading →

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Making history…again



By Benjamin Todd Jealous 

Guest Commentator


Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963, tens of thousands of activists on the National Mall: a preacher’s son from Atlanta talking about his dream for the country. We don’t need a history lesson. Even if we weren’t at the March itself — even for those like me who were not yet born — Dr. King’s words are etched into our minds as deeply as they are inscribed in stone at the base of his memorial. The preacher’s son has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of national heroes. Continue Reading →

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Barack Obama needs to free Marissa Alexander



The problem is not the Stand Your Ground law. It’s with its application. A cowardly predator like George Zimmerman can hide behind the statute, but, Marissa Alexander got 20 years. This is, as anyone can tell you, because Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, a young Black man and Marissa Alexander is a Black woman. That is why the law worked for Zimmerman and did not work for Alexander, sent her to jail for protecting herself, her home and her children from her abusive ex. Continue Reading →

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Jury identified with Zimmerman’s, not Martin’s, fear




“The jury clearly believed that you have a right to defend yourself” said Jude Faccidomo, the former president of Miami’s Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers — Tribune, July 14. Is this really happening? Are they really saying such stupid things? How does Zimmerman acquire the right to defend himself over Martin’s right to defend himself? Faccidomo also said “When cases are so gray like this one was, self-defense really resonates because people can associate with being afraid.” Huh? Continue Reading →

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Beyond the rhetoric Cry, cry, cry — nothing changes



By Harry C. Alford

Guest Commentator


In the past there were so many hangings, beatings, shootings and bombings. They went without justice being applied. During the past few decades we have shown national outrage from Emmett Till, Mississippi civil rights workers shootings, Rodney King, etc., and now we have the heartbreaking death of Trayvon Martin. Oh, there will be an enormous amount of talking, marching, debating and accusations. But in the end, nothing is going to change; nothing is going to make a difference. Continue Reading →

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Sebelius and Holder address NAACP convention — Speeches focused on Zimmerman verdict, Affordable Care Act, voting rights




By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer



In light of the recent George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week stressed the importance of civil rights during their scheduled appearances at the NAACP national convention in Orlando, Fla. The attorney general called for “a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality.”

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for his family, but also for our country,” Sebelius pointed out. “So are the tragedies of all the children we have lost because of gun violence before and since Trayvon was killed.” She and Holder spoke separately to the NAACP July 16, three days after the Zimmerman trial ended on July 13. “Across America, diverse groups of citizens, from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard” in disagreeing with the verdict, said Holder. “I hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most — Trayvon’s parents — have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.”

“The president hasn’t given up on pushing forward on commonsense gun violence prevention efforts,” reaffirmed the HHS secretary. Continue Reading →

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Zimmerman trial watch






Below is a series of commentaries written by MSR staff writer Charles Hallman exclusively for the MSR Online regarding the George Zimmerman trial. They are being posted several times per week. Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to


Zimmerman update #16 (July 23, 2013)

It’s been over a week since the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was handed down. Marches, vigils, and other such events have taken place in its aftermath. “There’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case,” admitted President Obama in his unexpected address to the press last week. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin is guilty… …of being a young, Black male in the wrong place at the wrong time



The headline in this column is not a mistake. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was guilty of being Black. All of us know of jokes about being arrested for driving while being Black. It was no joke for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed for walking in the rain while Black, wearing a hoodie, looking “suspicious,” and walking close to the townhouses to protect himself against the elements in a neighborhood that feared young Black men due to recent burglaries by Black youth. Two men: both young, both male, both wanting respect, but only one with a gun. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin tragedy’s lesson: ‘Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed’



Someone once said, to describe the state of race relations near the end of the 20th century, “Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed.” That may be the best way to sum up the Trayvon Martin tragedy. At bottom, as in the case of Dred Scott over 150 years ago, it’s apparent that Black folks “have no rights that Whites [particularly the system] are bound to respect.”

The Trayvon Martin verdict at bottom is disturbing, beyond the fact that Zimmerman got away with what may have been murder. As it turns out, this whole thing was about the prejudice and bias of the system. The trial exposed a prejudicial judicial system whose prejudice is to prefer White over Black, rich over poor, and native citizen over immigrant. In the case of the trial of George Zimmerman, that same system was now being asked to defend the type of person that it constantly slam-dunks. Continue Reading →

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Investigate the racial context behind Martin’s death


By Jesse Jackson

Guest Commentator


If Trayvon Martin were not a young Black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear that George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young White man wearing a hoodie. He would, at the very least, have listened to the cops and stayed back. Trayvon Martin is dead because Zimmerman believed that “these guys always get away” and chose not to wait for the police. Trayvon Martin’s death shatters the convenient myths that blind us to reality. Continue Reading →

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