Death of Trayvon Martin Inspires Book
For author and professor of religion, Kelly Brown Douglas, the death of Trayvon Martin was her Emmit Till moment, igniting deep chords of sadness and fear for young blacks. With her new book, STAND YOUR GROUND: Black Bodies And The Justice Of God, she traces the history of the stand your ground culture in America to the anglo saxon myth, and she chronicles the African American struggle to hold America accountable to its democratic ideas.
In our interview Professor Brown discussed how American founding fathers were influenced by the Anglo Saxon myth, how Black leaders like Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King challenged America to live up to its idealism, and why Americans need to understand its racialized history.
On the Sunday morning after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, black preachers across America addressed the questions his death raised for their communities: “Where is the justice of God? What are we to hope for?”
In this timely and compelling book, Kelly Brown Douglas examines the myths and narratives underlying a “stand-your-ground” culture, taking seriously the social as well as the theological questions raised by this and similar events, from Ferguson, Missouri to Staten Island, New York.
But the author also brings another significant interpretative lens to this text: that of a mother. She writes: “ere has been no story in the news that has troubled me more than that of Trayvon Martin’s slaying. President Obama said that if he had a son his son would look like Trayvon. I do have a son and he does look like Trayvon.”
In the face of tragedy and indifference, Kelly Brown Douglas arms the truth of a black mother’s faith in these times of “stand your ground.”
Kelly Brown Douglas is Professor and Director of the Religion Program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary. She has written several books including THE BLACK CHRIST, WHAT’S FAITH GOT TO DO WITH IT?, BLACK BODIES AND THE BLACK CHURCH.