Pop Culture, Race & Politics

In Honor Of Trayvon Martin And The #MillionHoodieMarch

Something dawned on me last night while reflecting on all the reading, listening, writing, tweeting, and talking I’ve devoted to all things Trayvon Martin in the last couple of days. Something feels different about this. 

Now, I realize that it could just be me. From Troy Davis and K.O.N.Y. to Tookie and Derrion Albert, there have been numerous recent instances of viral activism and virtual galvanization; causes we collectively championed and people we collectively cried for. I was not as taken by any of those as much as I’ve been taken by Trayvon Martin, and I accept the possibility that this “different feeling” could just be a bit of personal confirmation bias. Of course things are different now. Why? Because I’m finally involved and invested.

With that being said — and recognizing that this could all be in my head — I can not ignore the fact that something about this just feels different. The outrage seems a little hotter. The tears seem a little saltier. That sickness in our stomachs seems a little deeper. And, most importantly, that feeling of “I-don’t-know-what-do-to, but-we-f*cking-need-to-do-something”-ness seems a little stronger.

Hmm. A few days ago, I was talking to my mom about, I don’t know, work or bacon or some other typical bullshit daily minutiae, and right when I was about to get off the phone, she asked “Damon, what do you believe in?”

Even though I heard what she said, I asked her to repeat it because the question caught me so off guard. She did, and I asked if I could get back to her with an answer another time. She laughed, replied “Sure,” but added “You definitely need to think about that, though. You should be able to give me an answer.”

It’s been three days since she asked me that question. I still haven’t thought of a good answer. But, if the Trayvon Martin case has taught me anything, it’s that it’s time for me, time for us, to believe in something, and it feels like we’re finally ready and willing to do that.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)


Random PSA:  Liz is executive producing (yet another) web series for MadameNoire.com called “Ask A Black Man”–a talk show featuring Black men. The topics are all about love, sex, marriage and dating. You won’t want to miss this. New shows air every Wednesday on Madame Noire starting next Wednesday, March 28th. Stay tuned for the trailer. They’re rolling out the bios of each cast member. First up? Panama Jackson, who will appear in two episodes. Check out his bio and some sexxy (for a 3) photos here.

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

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