We all know the name, "Trayvon Martin." When people say that name it means more than just his unfortunate death. It goes much deeper.
"Everybody is all upset talking about what happened to Trayvon but what about the young black men that are killing each other," stated Mayor A C Wharton.
"93 percent of all black teen deaths are at the hands of black teens, that should be shocking to all of us," said one of the panelists Robert Bain.
A big crowd showed up Wednesday night. A panel made up of a professor, a writer, and an attorney discussed several issues affecting the black community in a forum, Wednesday.
"People just assume there is some criminality every time they see a black male particularly if they're dresses in this type of garb, a hoodie, pants sagging or whatever," said another panelist a college professor Gee Joyner.
"Those tattoos didn't represent the people that he killed but people that have died that were his friends," said the third panelist an attorney Isaac Kimes. He was talking about how a jury convicted a Shelby County African American teen of murder and the prosecution used his tattoos as a sign that he was a killer. The defense appealed the case and he was later found innocent.
There was talk of education or the lack of within today's youth.
"We were the models of education, the uplift. What happened to it? Where did it go," asked Baine.
Another obstacle people say African Americans face: the criminal justice system.
"Most African Americans in this criminal justice system start as guilty and then need to be proven innocent," said an audience member Marilyn Smith.
The goal: moving forward months, years, and generations from now and not come back to forums like this one to talk about another Trayvon Martin death.
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