4 Questions With Jamal Joseph

The former Black Panther and filmmaker talks about Trayvon Martin and activism in black arts.

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JJ: I would like to explore the conditions and circumstances that created Zimmerman. Unless we deal with where the disease or where the cancer is coming from, then it's going to happen again and again. Also, we should explore and honor his parents for following in the footsteps of Mamie Till, Emmett Till's mom. They are saying, "We're not letting this go. You have to understand what happened to my son. America, world, you need to know what happened to my son."

But we really need to understand the mind and the circumstances that created the mind that pulled that trigger that thinks it's OK to stalk a black boy and shoot him, and also the other minds that let [Zimmerman] go with impunity. Unless we attack it from both points, unless we understand man's inhumanity to man, it will be useless.

Akoto Ofori-Atta is The Root's assistant editor.

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