News of the acquittal of George Zimmerman sparked black churches nationwide to declare Sunday’s services as “Hoodie Sunday,” with pastors and congregants wearing hoodies to honor Trayvon Martin.
Rev. Tony Lee of the Community of Hope A.M.E. Church in Temple Hills, Maryland delivered his sermon in a hoodie, and told local TV station Fox 5, that while he wears hoodies, he has a Master’s degree – and wearing a hoodie does not make him a criminal.
“I don’t want this kind of stuff to happen to another one of our children,” Lee told Fox 5. “We have to hold the nation accountable but we also have to hold accountable the people who are shaping culture and shaping the atmosphere in which a young man could be dehumanized. Some of that comes from outside but some comes from our own community.”
Lee held a recruiting drive following the sermon for the church’s Social Justice Ministry, which works to combat community violence and improve education and health services, according to Fox 5.
Rev. Mike McBride also wore a hoodie while preaching at his West Berkeley, Calif. church, The Way Christian Center, according to the Huffington Post.
“The role of faith is to open the possibility of redemption in the lives of those that are broken, and I want to challenge our congregations to step into that role,” McBride told the Huffington Post. “We will be organizing people right there during the service for direct action. We are going to be talking about humanizing the dehumanized and amplifying the value of life for all people, but especially our young black men.”
Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, spread the word of Hoodie Sunday through social media:
One Way Service, the youth service of Bethal Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. also used Twitter to announce Hoodie Sunday: