ESSENCE editors have been flooded with responses ranging from anger to sadness over the Zimmerman verdict—especially from Black mothers who daily worry about the dangers their sons face when they are profiled without consequence,”  said ESSENCE Acting Managing Editor Vanessa Bush. “ESSENCE’s #HeIsNotASuspect campaign is designed to challenge negative images of young African-American men. We want also wanted to create a forum for mothers, grandmothers, aunts and everyone else to proclaim that young African-American men are to be celebrated and not feared.

Click here to watch Essence Editor Jeannine Amber talk with the TJMS’ Nikki Woods and Mary Boyce.

Readers simply need to upload to Instagram or Facebook a photo of themselves and a young Black man they care about—a son, brother, nephew, cousin, neighbor—and tell ESSENCE in a few words why he’s so much more than a stereotype, using the hashtag #HeIsNotASuspect.

For more on this campaign, visit

(Photo: AP)

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