Tracy Martin, father of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February 2012, will address Capitol Hill Wednesday. Tracy Martin will give the opening remarks at the inaugural hearing of the Congressional Black Caucus on Black Men and Boys.
His speech will be a feature of the hearing dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by African-American boys and men.
The hearing will also feature remarks by David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans; Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson; and Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE’-see oom-FOO’-may), a former congressman and NAACP president.
Earlier this month, Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder in the slaying of the 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed.
After Zimmerman’s acquittal, Martin and his ex-wife Sybrina Fulton conducted a number of media interviews, most recently telling CNN that the justice system, namely the Sanford police, had failed them.
“The state did all they could with what they had” given the poor quality of the investigation, he said. “Does the system work? It didn’t work for us. We remain prayerful that through this injustice, we can close that gap and hopefully the system can start working for everyone equally.”
President Barack Obama added his thoughts on the matter in an unscheduled meeting with the press last week.
“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said. “And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”
Tracy Martin’s address comes on the heels of social media campaigns directed at Black men and boys promoted by Essence Magazine and the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, known as #HeIsNotASuspect and *YourLIfeMatters respectively.
The start time for Martin’s remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus on Black Men and Boys had not been announced as of press time.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Illinois Congressman Danny Davis are the co-chairs of the newly formed caucus. Both are Democrats.