Explore why the 2012 shooting of a black student became a pivotal tension point around race and justice during Barack Obama’s presidency, in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE’s Divided States of America. Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer ignited passions across the nation. America’s first black president grappled with his response. Obama’s initial silence, followed by carefully guarded words, prompted a backlash—and not just from conservative pundits. Many in the black community were traumatized by the incident and by others like it. Following the shooter’s court acquittal the next year, Obama acknowledged his own experiences as a black American. For many, this was the first time in his administration that he openly spoke for black people.
This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.
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