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Opinion: How to Turn a Moment into a Movement

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

After hearing the constant coverage from various media outlets about the Trayvon Martin case, I asked myself “How long will this keep happening? What will it take to make change happen?” I realized that if the black community wanted to see actual change it would take more than just marching. It would take a movement on the grassroots level in the communities.

In the days that followed the verdict I heard about Rev. Al Sharpton organizing marches across the country to get people to show that they were serious about getting justice for Trayvon Martin.  But marching is just one part of the solution. Yes, it’s a great tool to help organize people but what about the more pressing issue of how do you get the laws to be changed?

If people truly want to be heard they have to do it economically and use their power to be heard. They should use their power in the voting booth and  vote in the next election, and ask some serious questions: “Does this individual actually care about us? Is this politician actually going to help our community and the people who live here? Or are they more concerned about collecting a check? What issues are they really fighting for?”


At first I was surprised by some of the comments that I came across on Twitter, days after the not guilty verdict. Some celebrities had tweeted how the system was unfair or how the Martin family didn’t receive justice.

Then I saw the tweets from Ebony Magazine asking followers to:“Show the world what a different kind of #JusticeForTrayvon looks like! Send us your pics! #Anger2Action.”  Other tweets by the well-known publication included: “We want to see what you are doing to spark change in our community. We don’t want another #justiceforTrayvon #Anger2Action

I understood where the outrage was coming from in regards to parents who have lost children or loved ones to violence due to another person’s actions or the lack of justice that they felt they received from the justice system.

Now is the time to galvanize the people who are tired of the youth being murdered by people holding others accountable to their own code for justice. If people can come together to rally, then why can’t people come together to vote for the change they want to see? Or to  take up a more active role in their community instead of just believing that the problem with the youth isn’t their problem until one of their loved ones are lost to this violence?


Another set of tweets that caught my attention came from Kyra Kyles @thekylefiles

“Still angry and sad about #Zimmermantrial? So am I, but what are we going to do? Tell @GetJETmag how you will turn #anger2action.” 


Sir Charles Cary @SirCharlesCary tweeted: @thejylefiles @EBONYMag @GetJETmag Create solutions to keep us out of the hornets nest and bring down bad stats on our community.While bjm @Namaste2525 tweeted: @thekylefiles @EBONYMag @GetJETmag #Zimmermantrial #anger2action , could EB/Jet run ongoing articles~ voting, commty action, talent devlmnt?

In order to see change in urban communities it has to start with the people in the communities. The people have to want to see change where they live. Perhaps it’s time for the leaders of the civil rights era to pass along their wisdom to the youth and work together to help prevent the murdering of an innocent youth.









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