Monday, July 15, 2013


In 1955, a young black man in Money, Mississippi, went to the store to buy some candy. Fifty-seven years later, another young black man in Sanford, Florida, did the same.

Both trips led to a murder — one of Emmett Till and the other Trayvon Martin.

Chavonne, it wasn't right when it happened in 1955, and it wasn't right in 2012. Responding to these injustices was a focus of my address to the 104th annual convention of the NAACP tonight.

I spoke of the need to keep our convention theme in our minds and hearts — "We shall not be moved." Here's how we do it:

You and hundreds of thousands of supporters have signed the petition urging the Department of Justice to file federal charges, including civil rights charges, against George Zimmerman. Now we need your friends and family to sign, as well.

Standing for justice requires courage, but I am confident we have no shortage of that.

Courage is a group of young NAACP leaders channeling their hurt and frustration over an appalling verdict into a decisive call to action: to stop the violence. Whether on the South Side of Chicago, or a gated community in Sanford, Florida, we must end gun violence, no matter what the perpetrator looks like.

It's Rosa Parks refusing to get up from her seat, and Medgar Evers refusing to take his. Titans of our civil rights movement who stood their ground, and who we celebrate this year on the 100th anniversary of her birth, and the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

And courage is refusing to allow two black boys to be vilified for walking while black, and rejecting the notion that our children are seen as potential threats instead of the loving sons and daughters we raise them to be.

Chavonne, courage will not skip this generation, and we shall not be moved. Right now, I need you to make this point loud and clear to the Department of Justice by sharing our petition.

Please sign and share this petition with your family and friends.

Thank you,

Roslyn Brock
Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors