Sanford marches in support of Trayvon Martin

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Cory Rae Rodda/Catalyst

On Monday, Mar. 26, Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were among thousands marching in Sanford, Fla. to mark the month since the 17-year-old was shot to death in a gated community.

Taryvon’s death, which occurred while he was walking  to a convenience store to buy Skittles and Arizona green tea, has triggered a firestorm of protests after Sanford police failed to press charges against his killer, George Zimmerman.

Many believe the killing was racially motivated, based on the killer’s conversation on a 911 recording. Zimmerman is believed to have followed the black youth, who was wearing a hoodie, and then bystanders heard a gunshot. The details of that fatal confrontation are open to dispute.

Sign-bearing marchers sported hoodies, clutched packs of Skittles and gulped down Arizona iced tea in symbolic sympathy with the victim.

The march, about one mile long, concluded at a downtown community center, where social activists Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson addressed the gathering prior to a City Council meeting.

The Catalyst interviewed Eric Williams of Black on Black Rhyme Jacksonville and asked him what he thought of the activism that Martin’s death has inspired.

“I think as far as it is getting attention going and shining light on the situation … it has done a good job,” Williams said. “It’s all for naught if justice is not served for this guy, it’s all for naught if justice isn’t served for this young man who lost his life for Skittles and iced tea, [which are] not nearly worth his life, not even an inch.”

Black on Black Rhyme is a national poetry organization whose aim is to give a voice to poets and artists who are often underrepresented in mainstream media. It hopes to partner with schools, colleges, small businesses and local media to start programs that promote poetry in the form of slams, spoken word, creative writing workshops and performance arts. The organization also hopes to use performance poetry as a form of therapy for adults, seniors and children living in rehabilitation facilities.

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