Museum wants Trayvon Martin's blood-stained hoodie so it can lead permanent exhibition on race
- The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History director Lonnie Bunch wants the hoodie Travyon Martin wore when he was fatally shot
- He said the sweatshirt has become a symbol of U.S. race relations 'in the age of Obama'
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 08:31 EST, 1 August 2013 | UPDATED: 08:41 EST, 1 August 2013
It has become a symbol of race relations in America.
Now the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History director wants the hoodie Travyon Martin, 17, wore when he was fatally shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman on February 26 last year.
'It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,' director Lonnie Bunch told the Washington Post.
'Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.'
Symbolic: Trayvon Martin¿s death has sparked debate about popular perceptions of hoodies and the people who wear them
Bunch said the dark gray sweatshirt would enhance the museum's collection, enabling curators to 'ask the bigger questions' prompted by the case.
'Are we in a post-racial age?' Bunch asked. 'This trial says, ‘No.’'
He said he'd like to chase up the murder trial artifact after the Justice Department finishes its civil rights investigation.
Bunch is also eying the hoodie Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, wore in solidarity with protesters.
This undated photo released by the Office of the State Attorney Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida shows the hoodie Travon Martin wore when he died
The Reverend Al Sharpton, who was instrumental in the Martin case being brought to trial and also organized numerous national 'Justice for Trayvon' rallies, said he wants to see the jumper 'preserved'.
'The hoodie now represents an image of an urban street kid that either embraces or engages in street thug life,' he told Washington Post. 'I think it’s unfair.'
He said protestors who wore hoodies at rallies were seeking a 'redefinition' of the hooded jumper.
Solidarity: Senators (left to right) Kevin Parker, D-Brooklyn, Bill Perkins, D-New York, and Sen. Eric Adams, D-Brooklyn, wear hooded sweatshirts during a March 2012 session to protest the shooting death of Martin, while a protestor wears a hoodie at a Georgia rally.
Unity: Senior Minister Jacqueline Lewis, right in red hoodie in pic to left, prays with other congregants during a service at New York's Middle Collegiate Church last year, where church-goers were invited to wear hoodies to show their 'support for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin'
Hoodies are widely considered to be more than just an item of clothing. They've become unfairly associated with 'urban rebellion', the 'more violent overtones of hip hop' and violent crime, often linking with so-called 'suspicious African American and Hispanic youth', according to the Washington Post.
In March last year, Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera ignited a firestorm after declaring on Fox & Friends: 'The hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.'
He later said on The O’Reilly Factor: 'Who else wears hoodies? Everybody that ever stuck up a convenience store; D.B. Cooper, the guy that hijacked a plane; Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382524/Museum-wants-Trayvon-Martins-blood-stained-hoodie-lead-permanent-exhibition-race.html#ixzz2ajmDbiMc
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook