An American Tragedy
Chapter Nine: A Message to My Daughter: Of Trayvon Martin and Young Black Men
A Message to My Daughter: Of Trayvon Martin and Young Black Men
BY EMMANUEL HARRIS II
Life for me hasn’t been a crystal stair, but I keep climbing. I know it may seem odd, Savannah, that I would write to you now like this, but what happened to Trayvon Martin has had a deep and lasting effect on me. Do you remember when I showed you the People magazine with the Black boy on the cover and I asked you, “Do you know who this is?” And you looked and then said sadly, “Kalani.” It nearly brought tears to my eyes to think that you would mistake Trayvon Martin for your brother. Yet the resemblance between the two of them, especially in that photograph, was undeniable. And this brought home even more the fact that it could have been your brother who was killed that night.
A whole new array of emotions ran through me months later when the jury in Florida ruled Trayvon’s killer to be not guilty of all charges. That someone could take the life of another person who was merely walking home from the corner store carrying candy and an iced tea and that the legal system would find him not guilty is an abomination. That the person killed looks like your brother, looks like me, is terrifying. That the deceased was feared and thought suspicious because he was a young Black man is regretfully common...
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