Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, the African-American teen slain in Sanford, Fla., by acquitted gunman George Zimmerman, will address members of Congress on Wednesday, sharing his thoughts on the black experience in the United States at the inaugural meeting of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys.
The group discussion on “The Status of Black Males: Ensuring Our Boys Mature Into Strong Men” is scheduled to take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 2737 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Ex-Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., Georgetown University sociology professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Obama administration aide David J. Johns are also expected to weigh in on the challenges facing today’s young black males.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., couldn’t get away from the topic even at Comic-Con, alerting those assembled to hear him speak about “March,” the graphic novel detailing his own rites of passage in the segregationist South, that post-racial America is still a ways off.
“People said the election of Barack Obama is the fulfillment of [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s] dream. And I said, 'no.' It’s just a down payment,” Lewis told HOH about the polarizing outcome of the Zimmerman case.
If anything, Lewis urged tomorrow’s leaders to remain ever vigilant.
“These [young] people, they’ve never seen signs saying ‘whites only’ and ‘colored only.’ But we have invisible signs today,” he said. “And the Supreme Court [Voting Rights Act] decision and what happened in Florida with this young man says that the struggle is ongoing.”