When all is said and done, Trayvon Martin’s hoodie may become property of the new Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture set to open in 2015.
The museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, said he is interested in obtaining the iconic piece of evidence after all the legal proceedings have played out, including the Justice Department’s investigation into civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
The hoodie, Bunch told the Washington Post, “represents a unique opportunity to further the discussion about race in America.”
“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 told the newspaper. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”
Not surprisingly, the Rev. Al Sharpton also wants to see the hoodie displayed in the new museum.
Sharpton led hoodie-wearing protestors in rallies across the country calling first, for murder charges against Zimmerman, and over a year later, protesting the jury’s “not guilty” verdict.
Sharpton was one of many who believed Zimmerman profiled Martin as a criminal because he was wearing a hoodie.
“The hoodie now represents an image of an urban street kid that either embraces or engages in street thug life,” the Post reported Sharpton said. “I think it’s unfair.” “By wearing hoodies at rallies, Sharpton says, he and others are seeking a redefinition.”
The decision to turn the hoodie over to the Smithsonian will ultimately be Trayvon’s parents.
According to the Post, Bunch has acquired other legal-themed displays for the new museum.
“He acquired a guard tower from Louisiana’s notorious Angola State Penitentiary and the handcuffs used to restrain renowned African American scholar and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in an episode that sparked a national debate about race and led to a “beer summit” with Obama aimed at cooling passions,” the article said.
It is entirely possible the famous “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” glove from O.J. Simpson’s murder trial may end up at museum someday, the Post speculated.
Though currently in “an undisclosed location,” the glove drew crowds when it was displayed at a casino during a law enforcement conference in Las Vegas in 2010, the Post reported.
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