Friday, July 19, 2013
When President Barack Obama told the nation on Friday that slain black teenager Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago, many black Americans across the nation nodded their head in silent understanding.
Like the president, they too have seen people walk across the street and lock their car doors as they got near. They, too, know what it's like to be followed while shopping in a department store.
In many ways, it was the frank talk on what it can be like to be black in America that many African Americans had been waiting to hear from Obama, especially since a Florida jury last weekend acquitted neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Martin's shooting death last year. And it generated a range of reactions -- a reflection of the diverse opinions and experiences the conversation on race in the U.S. provokes.