steffanie rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*I listened to the 911 audiotape recording of a Florida woman who called police because somebody was in distress and yelling for help behind her house. The cries for help could be heard in the background of the phone call.

The single gun shot that ended those cries for help also was audible. When police arrived 16-year-old Trayvon Martin was dead.

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At least three residents called 911 that night three weeks ago to report what they either heard or saw. None of their accounts supported the claims of the shooter, George Zimmerman. He told police he shot Martin in self-defense. Yet Zimmerman’s story – and the phone call he made to police before the shooting – don’t add up to self defense. Despite witness reports that night and his previous arrest record, Zimmerman remains free. No, not arrested and released on bond. Just free.

Raising a black man inAmericais getting harder when it should be getting easier. Easier, because black folks have “crossed over” in more ways than they have not. In politics, business, entertainment, and sports you name it and we are well represented. But just when we think it might be okay to exhale something happens to remind us of what we already know: No matter how many laws there might be, you can’t legislate a person’s heart and mind.

Strong black men are a dying breed. Parents don’t know whether to coddle their young black boys or whether to push them towards manhood knowing it could be to their demise. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but nobody wants to die trying to find out!

No matter how many steps we take towards progress there’s always somebody looking to set us back. We, being those who want to evolve. They, being those who are fighting evolution every step of the way.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas,Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to [email protected].