We missed this piece of Americana from August 1;
A director at the Smithsonian Institution wants to stock a new addition to the national museum complex with a controversial piece of recent US history — Trayvon Martin’s hoodie.
Lonnie Bunch said that once the legal case plays out, he’d love to have the gray hooded sweat shirt the unarmed 17-year-old was wearing the night he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.
....“It became the symbolic way to talk [about] 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, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, now under construction in Washington, DC, has assembled other controversial pieces about race relations throughout US history.The WaPo Style section is down with it;
Prosecutors displayed the dark gray sweatshirt that Martin wore on the last night of his life in an enormous, rectangular, thickly three-dimensional frame. The hoodie lay suspended between clear plastic sheets with its arms spread wide inside a cross-shaped cutout, set starkly apart from the brilliant white of the matting. It might easily have been mistaken for a religious relic, even as it became a singularly evocative entry in a long inventory of indelible courtroom artifacts from O.J. Simpson’s ill-fitting gloves to Lorena Bobbitt’s emasculating kitchen knife. Prosecutors lifted the framed hoodie awkwardly, teetering toward the jury.
“I get goose bumps just thinking about it,” says Michael Skolnik, who sat next to Martin’s parents on that morning, the day before the Fourth of July. Skolnik, the political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and a member of the Trayvon Martin Foundation board, felt as if he were in the presence of something as consequential and iconic as Babe Ruth’s bat or the Declaration of Independence. “It’s like this mythical garment,” he says.Is there a museum devoted to keeping homophobia alive?