WASHINGTON (AP) — The father of Trayvon Martin has joined an effort by members of Congress to focus more attention on issues disproportionately affecting black men and boys.

Tracy Martin was appearing Wednesday before a forum convened by black lawmakers to discuss high unemployment, incarceration, racial profiling and other challenges faced by black men and boys.

Martin was scheduled to give opening remarks in an informal hearing before the Congressional Black Men and Boys Caucus. Congressional caucuses such as this one are made up of members of the House who share interest in a given issue and want to focus attention on it while suggesting possible legislative responses. Caucuses range from the party of the Democrats and Republicans to special group caucuses such as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Martin’s appearance comes a few days after President Barack Obama made remarks identifying himself with the plight of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot and killed last year during a confrontation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, 29, said he fired the deadly shot at the unarmed boy in self-defense, and he was acquitted July 13 of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. The evening verdict sparked protests and calls for federal officials to charge Zimmerman with violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights. Federal officials are reviewing the case.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the congressional delegate for Washington, D.C. and one of the panel’s organizers, said in a news release that it is time for the nation and African-American community “to bring our black men and boys to center stage.”

Illinois Democratic Rep. Danny Davis, co-chair of the new caucus, said the aim of the coalition is to keep highlighting issues that impact and influence the conditions of black males and keep the issue in front of people so there will be understanding.

For example, there are few male African-American teachers in elementary and primary school, so some black boys never see someone who looks like them involved in education, therefore they grow up perceiving education as a girl thing, Davis said.

“Fifty years after the March on Washington, it is an unfortunate fact that today young black men are still more likely to be unemployed, to be expelled from school, to be stopped at random on the street because they have been profiled, to be sent to prison, to not have access to regular quality health care, or to have suffered gun violence,” Davis stated in a news release.

The unemployment rate for black men 20 and over was 13 percent in June compared to 6.2 percent for white men in that age bracket. The unemployment rate for black men and women 16 to 19 years old was 43.6 percent last month, compared to 20.4 percent for white youth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Also on schedule to speak were David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans; Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson and Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE’-seh oom-FOO’-may), former Maryland Democratic congressman and a onetime NAACP president.

Later this week, members of the Congressional Black Caucus are convening a summit in Chicago to address and look for solutions to the issue of urban gun violence.

9 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin’s Dad Adds Voice to Help Black Men, Boys

  1. JanCorey on said:

    Our world is a much better and safer place ever since Trayvon assaulted Mr. Zimmerman and got exactly what he needed. Praise the Lord he’s now dead as a direct result of his own illegal actions.

  2. JanCorey on said:

    Hateful? No hate, I would shoot any race, creed, religion, color, ect., if I was threatened with harm or deadly force. I believe I am an equal-opportunity-gun-owner. 🙂

  3. Charlene on said:

    How can your heart feel this way for one life and not feel that same for another? I have written you on several occasions asking you (TJMS, Justice for Blacks, Congressman,NAACP) to please take a look into injustice here in Florida when it comes to blacks. My Son (Cornelius Walston) who was found guilty of double murder and given two (2) life sentences. All the evidence proves in this case that my son was innocent of this crime but yet he was targeted from the beginning by the prosecution for the state (James Colaw). He was call Black Man, deranged, Monster and crazy in the newspaper before the trial started. The judge was changed days before the started and he would not allow the evidence or witnesses to be entered into evidence. I know this is a case that did not get all the media that the Zimmerman trial did, but there have been a violation of a persons rights and he just happens to be Black. I as you again to please look into this case. I can be reached at (904-422-2657, and my name is Charlene Caswell.

    • dave on said:

      i know cc. i was in the same dorm for a while in clay county. he’s a good man and should have gone home. clay county is crooked as with the rest of the injustice system.

      • JanCorey on said:

        Dave, that may be true but Trayvon was a criminal breaking into other’s homes and he was lucky he wasn’t shot before. Thank God for Mr. Zimmerman who put a dent into that gang’s momentum. I only wish I would have been there to assist our hero Mr. Zimmerman and add a few more points to his defensive-actions. Now, it is time to lock up Trayvon’s parents for not controlling the thug they produced and for endangering our neighborhoods.

  4. It’s about time this issue was addressed on a broad scale. It’s long overdue. Hopefully they will not only talk about it; but ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT JOB TRAINING, AND MENTORING PROGRAMS. I’ve often wondered why more people with (financial) resources haven’t stepped up to the plate and provided mentoring programs like the one Steve Harvey sponsors every year. I applaud Steve, and wish that others would follow his program design.

  5. JanCorey on said:

    Too bad Trayvon Martin’s dad didn’t help Trayvon to be a good kid, and Trayvon’s assaultive-misconduct and drug-useage is proof for me.

    • JanCorey on said:

      55th st silverbacks, not hateful, simply factual. Sorry the facts continue to scare you so much. Later on, down the road, when you finally realize just how wrong you are right now, many feel embarrassed and as*-like, please forgive yourself and learn from your continued mistakes. God speed.

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