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Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

“No One Will Make This Beauty A Burden”: Poetry As A Response To Ferguson

Hours after authorities announced that the grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, The Strivers Row – a performance collective in New York City -- began posting poems to its Facebook page.One was "Sing It As The Spirit Leads," Joshua Bennett's forceful ode to black excellence written after George Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Bennett begins by echoing the last stanza of a Lucille Clifton poem: "Come, celebrate with me. Every day something has tried to kill me and failed.”Bennett performed the poem a year ago at Kent State University, where he told the audience that he writes to dig at the truth and help listeners and readers shed shame. "Poems should be archeology,... Read More →

Host Of The Internet’s Most Lively Dinner Party, Ta-Nehisi Coates Commands The Room

At 38, Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior correspondent for The Atlantic's online property, has become one of the nation's foremost writers on race and culture. On a recent Saturday afternoon, Coates (whose first name is pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See) found himself on stage at the Cleveland Public Library before a large, diverse crowd that included students from the all-male Ginn Academy, a Cleveland public high school. The boys created a crimson line in the audience in their signature red blazers. Despite the formal setting, Coates was quick to share his humble beginnings. Born in West Baltimore, he came of age in "the era where black boys died," he said. Drugs and violence decimated entire communities, but Coates said his saving grace was his parents' strict guidance. His father, Paul Coates, was... Read More →

Rita Dove On “Trayvon, Redux,” Her Poem Posted On The Root Three Days After The Verdict

                            by Rita Dove  On Trayvon Martin, today I find myself at a loss for words -- or rather, I used up all the words in the poem itself. The entire matter is so complex and sorrowful, the implications so insidious and dire, that I could only respond in the way I know best-- by taking up one angle of vision, one point of view, and writing out of that moment. To say any more would be redundant and dangerously inaccurate. Trayvon, Redux It is difficult/to get the news from poems /yet men die miserably every day/for lack/of what is found there./Hear me out/for I too am concerned/and every man/who wants to die at peace in his bed/besides. William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, that... Read More →

Facebook Profile Photos Turn Black In Anticipation Of George Zimmerman Verdict

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, changed her Facebook profile picture to this "blackout" photo of Trayvon. As the George Zimmerman trial draws to a close, the simmer of daily conversation on social media has heated to a boil.  And comments are growing sharper in anticipation of a verdict in a case that began the night of Feburary 26, 2012, when an unarmed Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by Zimmerman, who is claiming self-defense.  Now, a simple way to indicate support of Trayvon Martin's family is spreading across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles. Instead of the typical signature photos of happy, smiling individuals, people are switching their profile pictures to a simple black square.  The "Justice For Trayvon Martin" Facebook Page turned its profile photo... Read More →
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