Spoken Word: Saving Trayvon Martin

LOS ANGELES, July 22, 2013 The Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman saga has gripped the racial conscience of the nation in a way that few things have. From the fateful incident itself to the trial and its aftermath the emotions of Americans of all colors on all sides have flared.

For black Americans generally, as well as for many others, there is a sense that justice was avoided in the trial of George Zimmerman and that Trayvon Martin’s life was undervalued by an uncaring, prejudiced system.

But what is lacking for black Americans, and for all Americans, in this controversy is a focus on the broader context of race, crime and inequality that this tragedy should call upon us to ponder.

As a creator of written word, the piece above was created to allow Americans of all colors to see a brighter path leading out from this national trauma.

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Saving Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin is dead!

In the dead of the night his body was torn

Pierced to destruction in the time of life,

Where dreams freely beckon with futures unborn.

 

I am the future and I am Trayvon,

A young black man striving to grow on.

In this world where I’m followed, distrusted cause I’m black,

And automatically from the wrong side of the tracks.

 

There are many Trayvons and they die by the thousands,

By murder, and drug use, imprisonment islands.

A few killed by white people, mostly all killed by blacks,

And when my brother kills a brother I just turn my back.

 

You can still save Trayvon, he’s dying in the streets,

In every liquor store and alleyway, where ghetto forces meet.

In a system of education that is letting us drown,

In the soul crushing poverty that is pushing us down.

  

We can still save Trayvon, but seems we’d rather not,

All we’re looking to see is that nigga Zimmerman get got.

We’re hating that white man slash whatever, Peruvian Jew,

But Jesus died not just for Martin, but for Zimmerman too.

And we should offer him forgiveness for repentances due.

 

Now that ain’t an easy thing learning to forgive,

It’s a lesson some will never learn in this life we live.

But the children of God bring peace to the land,

And the hearts of sinners molded to His righteous plan.

 

But don’t forgive him for Zimmerman, forgive him for Trayvon,

And the King Martin who died, of the mountaintop Psalm.

Who marched not just on the streets, but with Word through our hearts and our minds,

Who dispelled evil while being loving and kind.

 

It doesn’t matter what friends Al and Jesse would say,

Division and bluster is still not the way.

But America can make it up to Trayvon on this day,

And pay back its debt to its dear chattel slaves.

 

Give us an economy that’s not full of holes,

A path to opportunity and futures untold.

A public school system not completely corrupt,

 Where the cops come and beat you when its time to erupt.

They don’t understand our young black boys,

But we are worse ‘cause we do, and shut them out like noise.

It’s not right for America to judge us, but do we judges ourselves?

Or didn’t we hear the shouting, the screaming and yells?

 

We can still save Trayvon, but it’s gonna take time,

For the rhyme and the rhythm of hate to unwind.

Saving Trayvon saves America too,

For only if he lives can her glory be true.

 

I am Trayvon, so then are you.


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John R. Wood, JR

A writer and musician from the Los Angeles area, John Randolph Wood, Jr. is the grandson of the late record industry pioneer Randy Wood, known for founding Dot Records in the 1950′s and the nationally broadcast radio show and mail order record store “The Randy’s Record Shop” before that. He is the son of John Wood, Sr., noted Jazz pianist and R&B vocalist Deonda Theus. John Wood, Jr. has worked in various fields, including marketing, the legal and medical industries, and also in politics. A student of theology, philosophy, history, economics and political science, he is currently running for congress in the 43rd district of California. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and 2-year old son.

 

 

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