. Why I Became an Abolitionist « JO LEE MAGAZINE

Why I Became an Abolitionist

By World on The Run

Harper’s Bazaar – On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was assassinated. I use the word assassinated because his murder was absolutely political—especially for Black America. Like Trayvon, I was 17 years old at the time. Up until that point, I believed in a post-racial America. I had come of age without the influence of social media and lived in a predominantly Black and Brown community where everyone was on similar socioeconomic footing, which insulated me from structural injustices. I was so insulated that even after Trayvon’s death, I believed vehemently that justice would be served. Summer 2013 would be the moment I knew this country wasn’t capable of justice—and that a radical shift was needed.

That summer, after more than a year of advocacy, the non-acquittal came in. I felt so debilitated by the crushing weight of disappointment and betrayal (something I would, unfortunately, become familiar with). I was a first-year student in college being told that the world was my oyster, but that didn’t ring true for my community. It was bigger than Trayvon at that point…

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