February 26 marked the three-year anniversary of the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was savagely and maliciously shot in a confrontation with George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in the teenagers death the following year. It was also reported this week that the Department of Justice is set to announce it will not be filing charges against Zimmerman in the shooting of the unarmed teen.
While that will surely be bad news to Trayvons heartbroken parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, President Obama did acknowledge their pain and the wrong that was inflicted upon their family. His way of honoring Trayvons memory and apologizing for the failure of Americas flawed criminal justice system, was inviting Sybrina and Tracy to the White House to honor the third anniversary of their sons shooting.
They joined President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a special reception in recognition of African American History Month on Thursday, during which the President thanked the Martins for their attendance on whats a very difficult day for them.
Today, on the third anniversary of Trayvon Martins death, showing all of our kids, all of them, every single day, that their lives matter, thats part of our task, President Obama said. Where we are today didnt come easy. It came through thick and thin.
Obama also emphasized to the audience of civilians and distinguished politicians in the East Room, the importance of African American History Month. A month of celebrating black culture and contributions to American society. A month in which going forward Obama will eventually replace Dr. Martin Luther King as the headline act.
He explained that annual commemoration is not to isolate or segregate or to put African-American history under a glass case.
He continued, We set [the month] aside to illuminate those threads.
In addition to acknowledging Martins death, the President also addressed another topical event, the 1965 march from Selma, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr., that is depicted in the Oscar-nominated film Selma.
When the Trayvon Martin tragedy occurred and the shocking not guilty verdict was later announced, The Shadow League poets poured their hearts out with some compelling reactionary pieces.
We honor Trayvons memory by reposting a Shadow League piece written immediately following one of the most anticipated and racially-charged verdicts since the O.J. Simpson Trial. The piece captures the pain and disappointment of the black and common sense communities.
See link below…
The tragic shooting of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a man of mixed race (White and Hispanic), while Martin was on his way home from a Sanford, Florida 7-11 in February 2012, set off a firestorm of emotionally-laced opinions and heated discussions.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community Martin was residing in, claimed he shot Martin in self-defense after he saw the hoody-wearing teen “looking suspicious.”
Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t alive to tell his side of the story, and after a trial lasting from June 10th to July 13th, 2013, a jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.