The Howard University Vigil for Trayvon Martin

Prayer vigil for Trayvon Martin in Florida (Mario Toma/Getty Images)
Prayer vigil for Trayvon Martin in Florida (Mario Toma/Getty Images)

Checking in on a rally at Howard University, The Root DC blogger Lauren McEwen says that "I am Trayvon Martin" is not an empty catchphrase for black students across America. Many realize that no matter how much they accomplish, they still fit shooter George Zimmerman's definition of the word "suspicious."


A “modern-day lynching” is what they called it. That’s what some Howard University students have dubbed the killing of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old from Florida whose death at the hands of an overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer, who has yet to even see the inside of an interrogation room, has sparked a tremendous amount of outrage.

Last night students held a vigil organized by members of the Howard chapter of the NAACP and students from Howard Law School. More than 100 students gathered around the flagpole on the main campus — the same flagpole where students met three years ago for the symbolic march to the Mall when President Obama was inaugurated — to mourn the loss of a boy they never met, but all knew too well.

“I am Trayvon Martin” isn't an empty catchphrase for them. Black college students across America see their 17-year-old selves in those school photos of the baby-faced teenager.

This isn’t the latest chic political movement. It’s a stark reminder that no matter how high their GPAs are, how many degrees they get, how many plans they have, they still fit shooter George Zimmerman’s definition of the word “suspicious.”

Read Lauren McEwen's entire blog entry at The Root DC.