It’s a club no one wants to join, and yet there is no shortage of members. In fact, there were almost too many to count prior to the advent of cell phones and hashtags. But for every Emmett Till or Rodney King, thousands are not as known. Definitely not as known as Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black teen, who, 10 years ago Saturday, was walking home from a convenience store when he was confronted and killed by George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic man who doubled as one part failed aspiring police officer and another part wannabe vigilante.
Trayvon joined a long list of Black women, men and children lost to senseless violence after being targeted for their race — but in 2012, America was a vastly different landscape from just a few years prior. The first Black president was fighting for his second term, the 24/7 media machine was becoming more polarized and politicized, and social media was so ubiquitous that the court of public opinion could gleefully weigh in on the worthiness of Black people in real time.
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