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The Trayvon Martin in US

An American Tragedy


Edited By Emmanuel Harris II and Antonio D. Tillis

The events surrounding the Trayvon Martin murder, trial and acquittal bring to public and private discourse the violent, brutal murders of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. King, while bringing back to memory the racially provoked murders of Black American and Black immigrant men such as Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant and more recently, Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York. The name of Trayvon Martin has become trope in the 21 st century, which crystallizes US racial politics regarding Blackness, specifically the Black male: a metaphoric symbol of this history of America’s regard for Black bodies, as well as a metonym, a name that has become a contemporary substitute for terrorist attacks targeting Black bodies. The works included here imply that Trayvon Martin, as trope, reverberates in the most conscientious of ‘US’; and, this epic tragedy is one that has plagued ‘US’ since Africans and people of African descent first arrived to the Americas. The essays range from the profoundly personal to the thoroughly investigated, and conclude with the statement from President Barack H. Obama in the epilogue. The Trayvon Martin in US is essential reading for anyone who is involved in race relations or teaches the topic.


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190 | the tray von mar tin in us American Psychological Association, 106, 170 Anderson Cooper 360º, 145, 147 Andrews, G.R., 54 Angry Black Guy Syndrome, 19 annihilation, 1 Anthology Society, 160 Appropriating Blackness, 162 Armstead, W.S., 170 Artigas, J.G., 50 Ashley, A., 2 The Assassination of the Black Male Image, 169 The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, 164 The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 165 b Baldwin, J., 42, 99, 113, 114, 122 Barnett, A.D., 143, 144 Barth, K., 11 Batistas, J., 48 Beard v. United States, 85 being “Trayvoned,” 3, 95–97, 98 Bekerie, A., 95 Bell, S., 2, 20 Bennett, L. Jr., 95 Bey, Y., 95 “big Black scare,” 171 Birth of a Nation, 171 Black anger, 33 Black Arts Repertory Theater/School, 165 Black Liberation Army, 131 Black-on-Black violence, 104, 133, 134 Black piñata, 4, 33–36 Black Student Alliance, 63 Black Studies programs, 165 Blackness, 162 Blow, C., 143 Boedeker, H., 89 Bond, J., 154 Boostrom, R.L., 85 Bozell, B., 160 Bradley, M.T., 154 Brazil, 52–55 Brown v. Board of Education, 99, 165 Bryant, C., 161, 162 Bryant, K., 171 Bryant, M., 154 Bryant, R., 154 Bush, G.H.W., 156 c Cabral, A., 36 Campbell, A., 2 Carroll, C., 170, 172 Carson, B., 126, 133 castle doctrine, 85 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 108 Challenger, 14 chattel slavery. See slavery Cheney, A., 133 Civil Rights Act of 1964, 165 Civil Rights Movement, 9, 44, 70, 83, 133, 153, 157, 164 Civil War Amendments, 87 Clark, H...

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