It became a symbol for racial division during the George Zimmerman trial, and now the hoodie Trayvon Martin wore the night of his death may be taking up permanent residence at the Smithsonian as a symbol of “race in the age of Obama.”
The Washington Post highlighted this week how MSNBC host and civil rights activist Al Sharpton wanted to see Martin’s hoodie “preserved,” ideally at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The museum director, Lonnie Bunch, has collected other items with strongly symbolic meaning, including the handcuffs used to arrest Professor Henry Louis Gates in 2009. And he believes hosting Martin’s hoodie in the museum would be a good addition.
“It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,” Bunch said. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”
Bunch added that the Zimmerman trial shows that the United States is definitely not in a “post-racial age.”
UPDATE: The Smithsonian set the record straight in a tweet sent out Friday, firmly denying the news.
h/t ABC News
Editor’s note: This post has been edited since its original posting – Jon Nicosia, Mgr. Editor
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