Trayvon Martin’s Hoodie: Smithsonian Director Interested

Jennifer Deutschmann - Author

Aug. 1 2013, Updated 1:17 p.m. ET

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie may end up in a museum. Smithsonian Director Lonnie Bunch has already expressed interest in the hoodie worn by Martin on the evening of his death.

Bunch would like to display the hoodie in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History. As reported by The Washington Times, Martin, and the hoodie, have become a national symbol of race relations in the US:

“It became the symbolic way to talk [about] the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol… Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman was arrested and charged with murder. He was found not guilty on July 13, 2013.

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Zimmerman contends that he shot Martin in self-defense. Those who oppose the verdict believe Zimmerman profiled Martin as a criminal, because he was black and wearing a hoodie.

In addition to Trayvon Martin’s hoodie, Bunch is also interested in the one worn by Marian Wright Edelman. She wore the hoodie during protests stemming from the Zimmerman case. Edelman founded the Children’s Defense Fund.

Bunch may have to wait a while for Trayvon’s hoodie. It was used previously as evidence in Zimmerman’s criminal case. It is now being held as evidence in a Justice Department civil rights investigation.

If a civil case moves forward, the hoodie may be property of the state for an extended period of time.

The African-American History and Culture collection is currently on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The new facility is expected to open in 2015.

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As reported by, current notable collections include Black Fashion, Ernest C. Withers Photography, and some of Harriet Tubman’s personal belongings.

Trayvon Martin’s Hoodie would fit well with a growing collection of items that underline the ongoing civil rights movement. However, it may not be available until well after the museum’s opening.


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