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Trayvon Martin was armed with Skittles and a can of tea. George Zimmerman wielded a gun and mind full of stereotypes. On Sunday, dozens gathered at Marshall Park armed with prayers, poems, songs and hope that tragic conflict between Martin and Zimmerman would bring the black community together. The rally for Trayvon Martin was a response to a Sanford, Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in connection with Martin’s death.

The not guilty verdict sparked the usual amount of outcries of injustice for black men. At Marshall Park, speakers implored protestors to use this moment as an opportunity to address ills of African Americans. There were was hope that our black males would stop killing each.

There was the challenge for black women to change their priorities such as spending less on fake hair and more on real homes to raise their children. There was the plea for our children to put down the Xbox and pick up a book so they wouldn’t speak like Rachel Jeantel and limit their opportunities.

The rally was a familiar call to action. It’s one we heard when news broke of Martin’s death. We heard it when African Americans rallied for the Jenna 6. We even heard it when Kydaryune Curry was gunned down in Charlotte street because he was disrespectful. Until we change how we view ourselves and each other. Until we teach more of our African American youth to value themselves and their education, it is a rallying cry that we will hear the next time a person of another race takes a black life.

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Justice For Trayvon Rally Draws Tears, Poems and Hope (Photos + Video)  was originally published on

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