The George Zimmerman verdict sparked a debate that laid dormant in America: Would things have been different if Trayvon Martin was white?
Protest flared up around the country – and even anger, with some rioting in Oakland and LA.
The events made national headlines, in the forefront enough for President Barack Obama to address what it’s like for a Black man in America.
“And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on doors of cars,” said President Barack Obama during a press conference. “It’s happened to me.”
“I experienced all the above,” said James Shelby, President of the Greater Sacramento Urban League.
From the successful to the homeless, black men told us being that discriminated against is a common occurrence.
“It happens downtown on K Street all the time,” said an African-American man.
The automatic assumption: that with dark skin comes danger.
“Is racism alive in 2013? Yes, very much so, ” said Adrian.
Imagery that appears in rap videos like 2 Chainz’ “I’m Different” gives life to the stigma that Black men are criminals.
“I was wearing my baseball hat in a sport jacket in my office, [and] a woman told me I looks like a thug,” said James Shelby.
With the first African-American president of United States speaking out on racism, there’s no doubt a national conversation is underway.
Hopefully, slowly but surely America makes progress.