On Friday March 23rd, President Lewis Reed led hundreds of people on a march thru the streets of Downtown St. Louis to show outrage over the fact that no charges had been filed in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Prior to the march the group was led in prayer by Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, pastor of St. John”s United Church of Christ and President, CEO-elect of the Deaconess Foundation.
An article from the Miami Herald newspaper offered the following glimpse of Trayvon Martin, his parents and events in his short life.
As the nation grapples with the killing of an unarmed black teenager wearing a hoodie, his parents patiently offer the simple details of Trayvon’s life, painting the portrait of a typical teenager who would end up in a casket, buried in white suit with a powder blue vest.
Trayvon was 6-foot-3, 140 pounds, a former Optimist League football player with a narrow frame and a voracious appetite. He wanted to fly or fix planes, struggled in chemistry, loved sports video games and went to New York for the first time two summers ago, seeing the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and a Broadway musical, The Addams Family. He hoped to attend the University of Miami or Florida A&M University. enamored by both schools’ bright orange and green hues.
Also known as “Slimm”, he had a girlfriend and spent endless hours talking or texting on his cell phone. Other times he was quiet, listening to the soundtrack of R&B, reggae, rap and gospel music flowing through his ear buds or watching half-hour re-runs of Martin, his favorite show.
Trayvon’s parents — his mother is a Miami-Dade government employee and his dad is a truck driver — divorced in 1999 but lived near each other in Miami Gardens, working hard to raise Trayvon with family values and lift him above the statistics. They tried to make sure he was exposed to experiences beyond South Florida: skiing, snowboarding and riding snowmobiles. Mother and son went horseback riding for her birthday, 13 days after his.
“Tray was a beautiful child. He was raised to have manners and be respectful. He was a teenager who still had a lot of kid in him,” his father, Tracy Martin, 45, said. “He still loved to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins and would bake them chocolate chip cookies when he was babysitting them.”
Rev. Sammie Jones, Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church addresses the crowd assembled at Soldiers Memorial.