Trayvon Martin and Social Media


I want to write about this young man, this bright boy, skinny and tall and now, sadly, gone. I want to write about my outrage, my sorrow, and my horror. I want to talk about how I cried when a friend said her little boy, just eight years old, asked, “Mommy, will I be shot cause I’m black?” I want to talk about the helplessness and fury I feel. I want to talk about how incomprehensible it all is.

But this is MomCrunch, and while all those things are true, I am going to talk only about the small sliver of the story that is pertinent here, about how the massive power and reach of social media took what could have been a small story in a small town in Florida and turned it on its head and became a ground swell and a movement.

Trayvon Martin is gone, but his legacy will be one of change, I believe. One of hope, one of unity, and one of love and social media is at the heart of it.

I’m not sure quite when I first heard about Trayvon, but I know it was at least two weeks after he died. I clicked on a link from Twitter, read some news coverage and reacted with the normal level of shock and dismay. But then it exploded all over Twitter, and then Facebook, and suddenly, at last, the national news was covering it. We learned about Florida’s insane (sorry, editorializing here) Stand Your Ground law. We learned that Trayvon wasn’t 100% perfect (who is?).

And everyone put on a hoodie. Hoodie avatars appeared on the Twitter accounts of so many folks. Everyone was standing with Trayvon and his family by wearing a piece of clothing at least one person has said is to blame for his death. No one believes wearing hoodies will create change, but it’s a small thing we can all do instantly.

This story at chronicles the history of how the Trayvon Martin story broke on social media. It’s more than just a case study; it’s about the heart that beats at the center of the online community.

Here at MomCrunch, our hearts go out to the families of all the Trayvon Martins of the world.

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