Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network, on the day that would have been Trayvon Martin’s nineteenth birthday, addressed reports that there will be a boxing match between George Zimmerman and rapper DMX during his keynote speech in Los Angeles at the inaugural National Action Network (NAN) Black History Month Awards Luncheon:
“We must be very careful not to glorify or in any way sidestep the implications of making someone whose only claim to fame was killing an unarmed young man named Trayvon Martin into a cultural celebrity or hero. He has the right to pursue whatever he wants in life, yet we also have the obligation to be discerning about who we lift and to what level. It is perfectly legal for him to exploit his fame but we should never forget what he is famous for and not behave like he is a celebrity based on gifts or talent or contributions to society. I am concerned about the precedent that it sets.”
Rev. Sharpton’s Los Angeles NAN awards program at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills honored local leaders and corporations that have worked in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to promote Black culture and achievement. Former NBA player Magic Johnson is a co-chair on the event along with Rev. Al Sharpton and honorees include: Danny Bakewell Sr., publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel; Honorable Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, CA; Jon Platt, President North America, Warner/Chappell Music; Reverend Xavier L. Thompson, Pastor, Southern Missionary Baptist Church; and Univision Communications Inc.
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