Every 28 Hours

Trayvon Martin against the backdrop of others killed by police or vigilantes. Image courtesy: socialistworker.org

Trayvon Martin against a backdrop of others killed by police or vigilantes.
Image courtesy of socialistworker.org

Last month, the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin stunned communities throughout the U.S. and around the world. The gross miscarriage of justice which allowed Zimmerman to face no consequences for stalking and murdering a teenage boy prompted outrage, confusion and sadness. Trayvon Martin was the latest victim in a lengthy history of racist terror against Black people in the U.S. From the horrors of enslavement, to Jim Crow era lynchings, to present day policing and vigilantism, Black bodies in these United States are haunted by the ever-present threat of assault.

In July of 2012, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement released Operation Ghetto Storma report on the extrajudicial killing of Black people. The report found that “Every thirty-six hours a Black woman, man, or child is killed by police, security guards or self-appointed law enforcers.” Less than a year later, in April of 2013, the report was updated to reflect an increase in these killings. Now, every twenty-eight hours a Black person is killed by law enforcement or those acting within a law enforcement framework.

Yet the gravity of these figures should prompt resolve, not despair. Countless organizations are working tirelessly to stem the tide of violence and chart a new course for Black communities. In addition to research and issuing policy documents, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is also engaged in political education campaigns, counseling services, housing reform and youth leadership programs. Similarly, groups like Communities United for Police Reform, the Committee Against Police Brutality and INCITE! are all working to end anti-Black violence and oppression.

Though the list of names of those we’ve lost is long, we honor their memory by remaining steadfast in our courage. Ain’t gonna let George Zimmerman turn us ’round.

by Brittany Duck, Student, Activist and Weeksville Resident

Leave a comment


  1. Tali

     /  September 24, 2013

    It’s so easy to lose ourselves in such a dispaired situation. That’s why I especially appreciate the positive outlook you chose to present, including listing some groups dealing with these issues. Like many issues of the past, as long as they are being addressed, there is hope for change.



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