1,000 Hoodie Walk Organized in Memory of Trayvon Martin

A march in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was gunned down last month, is planned for tomorrow morning in downtown Springfield. New England Public Radio reports on what’s being called the “One Thousand Hoodies”  Walk.

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has sparked a national dialogue on race. Martin was shot and killed while walking through an Orlando suburb wearing a hooded sweatshirt or “hoodie” and carrying just snacks he had purchased from a convenience store. The man who shot him, George Zimmerman, was a neighborhood watch member. Zimmerman’s lawyer says once all the facts are made public, this incident will not appear as clearcut as many of Martin’s supporters are saying. In the meantime, conversations about all aspects of race have continued to make news. On the steps of City Hall in Springfield, Darryl Moss and Natasha Clark of the Alliance for Black Professionals, discussed their views.

“It’s not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s an American issue. Trayvon Martin happened to be black but he was you know, possibly the friend of a Latino, of a white person, doesn’t make a difference, we are all Americans, we are all neighbors, we fight for this country, we believe in this country. And an injustice for one is an injustice for all.”

“It’s interesting how there’s so much significance placed on the hoodie. As a mother of a young male, we’ve already had these discussions. We’ve already had discussions about, well, now we’ll say a hoodie, but you can have a hoodie on, a suit on, automatically some people are going to judge you just based on the color of your skin. You can have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, before you’ve even opened your mouth they assume certain things about you.”

Moss and Clark are organizing a rally and half-mile walk on Saturday morning for families of all backgrounds who want to walk through the streets of Springfield peacefully, wearing hoodies to demonstrate that clothing and skin color don’t define a person’s character. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at City Hall and speakers include Moss and various elected officials.