The hoodie worn by Trayvon Martin on the night that he was senselessly gunned down may become an official permanent part of history
The hoodie worn by teenager Trayvon Martin the night that he was hunted and gunned down by acquitted child-killer George Zimmerman has become a staple in the movement seeking justice for Trayvon’s senseless murder, and now it may become a part of history in an even more permanent way.
via Washington Post
[Trayvon] Martin is this generation’s Emmett Till, [Al] Sharpton says.
He calls the unarmed teenager’s death by a bullet that first pierced his hoodie, and then pierced his heart, the first civil rights flash point of the 21st century. And his hoodie is central to that distinction, an item of clothing that Sharpton says was used to profile Martin as a criminal.
“The hoodie now represents an image of an urban street kid that either embraces or engages in street thug life,” he said. “I think it’s unfair.” By wearing hoodies at rallies, Sharpton says, he and others are seeking a redefinition.
Sharpton would like to see the hoodie reside one day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture now under construction on the Mall and expected to open in 2015. The museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, has assembled other pieces with legal themes.
Martin’s hoodie, Bunch said, represents a unique opportunity to further the discussion about race in America.
(And, by the way, he’d love to have it for his collection once the legal case plays out. He also has his eye on the hoodie that Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, wore in solidarity with protesters.)
“It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,” Bunch said. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”
Curators, he mused, could “ask the bigger questions” prompted by the case.
“Are we in a post-racial age?” Bunch asked, dreaming about how the hoodie might help shape perceptions. Then he answered the question: “This trial says, ‘No.’ ”
It’d be an enormously powerful display to see in the museum, that’s for sure. Whether or not the iconic hoodie will actually make its’ way into the museum is, of course, ultimately the decision of Trayvon’s parents.
If you were Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, would you allow the last article of clothing worn by your son during the last moments of his life to be put on display?