today in black history

June 16, 2024

Author John Howard Griffin, who posed as a Black man for his seminal book on southern racism,"Black Like Me," was born in 1920.

Reaction to the Zimmerman Verdict

POSTED: July 15, 2013, 7:00 am

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NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous

“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”

NAACP Florida State Conference President Adora Obi Nweze

“We lost a young man due to senseless violence, but justice did not prevail,” said Adora Obi Nweze, President of the Florida NAACP State Conference. “Last year we pushed for the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial. Today, we are still called to act. No one should be allowed to use this law to commit a senseless crime again.”

National Black Caucus of State Legislators

“Racial injustice should not be tolerated, and despite yesterday’s decision, justice can still be served. The fact remains that the senseless death of an American teen is unaccounted for; we must all do our part to prevent future occurrences.”

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Church of God in Christ

“We mourn the loss of a potential-filled young life. This incident portrays much about the increasing sickness of our society where incidents of this nature occur.

If George Zimmerman had not carried a gun, he would not have been so emboldened to come into young Trayvon Martin’s space in an inappropriate way. Trayvon Martin should have been allowed to complete his trip to and from the store safely, without harassment.”

Institute of the Black World 21st Century

“The only long term solution is a mass organized peoples’ movement. And, the time is NOW.

We must relentlessly pursue every avenue to obtain justice; a civil rights suit, a civil suit for damages, new legislation outlawing citizen vigilante frontier (in)justice . We must demand the repeal of the so- called Stand your Ground laws that are clearly designed for some and not for all, and that justify legalized murder in the name of “self-defense.”

Hon. Marcia Fudge, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus

“The Zimmerman verdict is heartbreaking. So much justice was delayed and denied before the case ever reached a trial. Had George Zimmerman not followed Trayvon Martin, none of the tragic events that followed would have happened. Our nation must respect the jury process, but we can never be content with a system that leaves more Trayvons vulnerable. My thoughts and prayers are with Trayvon's family and every family saddened by the outcome, knowing their sons, brothers or nephews could unjustifiably fall in harm's way.”

Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League

“From the very beginning of this case, if not for Ben Crump and the local community’s call to the civil rights leadership, this matter would have been swept under the rug. Our collective efforts stopped that from occurring last year. Today, we continue to send a strong message of solidarity with Trayvon's parents and with his family. But we also want to send another message - this is not the end.”

Richard Cohen, President and CEO, Southern Poverty Law Center

“George Zimmerman probably saw race the night of February 26, 2012, just like so many of us probably would have. Had he not, Trayvon probably would be alive today.

The jury has spoken. Now, we must speak out against the racial bias that still infects our society and distorts our perception of the world. And we must do something about it.”

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