This op-ed originated on BaltimoreSun.com, the online platform for The Baltimore Sun.
When Trayvon Martin’s life was taken our nation was forced into a long overdue conversation about the condition of the lives of African-American boys and young men. Young men like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.; John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio; and now Freddie Gray in Baltimore. This avoidable loss of life leaves eternal cars on families, communities and the entire country. The post-tragedy narrative is frustratingly predictable. The death of a young black man. Crowds linking arms to demand justice. Long escalating tension between police and community playing out. Yet, as we hope for personal healing, the elevation of these tragedies into public consciousness also becomes a symbol for so much more. Read the complete op-ed.