Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s director, says the artifact “represents a unique opportunity to further the discussion about race in America.”
“It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,” he explains. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”
Rev. Al Sharpton agrees with the museum’s efforts to obtain the black sweatshirt.
“The hoodie now represents an image of an urban street kid that either embraces or engages in street thug life,” he says. “I think it’s unfair.”
The Washington Post reports, “By wearing hoodies at rallies, he and others are seeking a redefinition.”
Bunch goes on to say that the Trayvon Martin movement has forced Americans to “ask the bigger questions.”
“Are we in a post-racial age?” he asks. “This trial says, ‘No.’ ”
Evidence from the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial has yet to be released. According to Capt. James McAuliffe, the Department of Justice will hold the items until a civil rights investigation is complete.