MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) – A prayer breakfast was held at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens Saturday, the church where Trayvon Martin’s mother worships, to talk about what black youth and teens need to do to protect themselves in a society where they can be targets, like many feel Trayvon was.
100 Black Men of America hosted the breakfast for fathers, sons, and boys and talked with the sons about the Trayvon Martin shooting and what if anything young black men can do to protect themselves.
About 50 people attended the event in an effort to open dialogue about how to act as young black men in different communities and their responsibilities to survive and thrive.
Former U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek attended the breakfast with his son. He said the Trayvon Martin case is a wake-up call for Americans in general.
“Some people may not see him as a productive student in school developing to be a great member of our society but someone who may carry out a crime,” Meek said. “I hope those who have pre-conceived notions of young black males can rethink their assessment.”
Trayvon Martin, 17, was gunned down in a Sanford neighborhood last month. His killer, George Zimmerman, said he was acting in self-defense, though 911 calls have called his actions into question. Martin was unarmed at the time of the shooting and was only carrying a bag of Skittles and some iced tea.
Those taking part in the prayer breakfast Saturday shared a lot of their past experiences. They talked about different scenarios everything from being pulled over to being followed to being confronted. They hoped by sharing their reactions as adults the young boys attending the breakfast could adopt new strategies of dealing with such situations.
Meek said this is an educational moment, “with the President speaking about it and some sports figures addressing it and young people embracing it in a non-violent way.”
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens is expected to hold more educational outreach events on Sunday.