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Local march planned for Martin

Date: 3/28/2012

March 28, 2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD — Natasha Clark is quick to remind that she is not a politician, nor does she describe herself as an activist. She's a mother who was struck by the senselessness of the Trayvon Martin shooting and decided to do something to show support for the family facing this loss.

That's why Clark turned to her fellow board members of the Black Alliance of Professionals to organize and host "The 1,000 Hoodie March" on March 31.

Clark's son, who is a few years younger than Martin, lives in Florida and after listening to the 911 recordings, she was compelled to do something.

"I just think it's sad," she told Reminder Publications last week. "A kid was killed because he was thought to be suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie."

The Alliance is asking people to wear a hooded sweatshirt and to gather at Court Square at 10 a.m. to participate in a walk around downtown.

LaMara Hunter, also a board member for the Alliance, said, "This tragedy has really allowed America to see racism for what its worth. Being a mother of a teenaged boy that has lived in Florida, I have seen this self-defense law be used and abused. In New York, as they marched with their hoodies on, you saw a unified front of different races, ages and cultures come together letting those powers that be know that this is not right. We cannot keep losing our black men to senseless violence. It is time for people to come together here in Springfield and show our support and pray that justice prevails for the family of Trayvon."

Clark added, "I thought a walk would be a good way to show the Martin family some support."

She emphasized the event is family friendly and is designed to a peaceful tribute to Martin.

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