Moreover, we must teach our sons competence, courage, commitment, and compassion. We must teach them Black history. We must teach them past legal gains can be reversed if each generation does not remain vigilant. We must teach them that American economic downturns most often lead to a rise in racism against Black people. We must teach them not to feel entitled to anything. We must teach them that an empty intellect makes the most noise. We must teach them that ideas are intellectual currency. We must teach that comfort breeds complacency. We must teach them that injustice, like Italian Dressing, must be shaken. We must teach them that the garden of the mind must be cultivated for weeds. We must teach them that a liar is worst than a thief. We must teach them a good reputation is worth riches. We must teach them their aspirations should exceed their grasp. Lastly, we must teach our sons that we are the composite of all whose memory we cherish.

Trayvon’s tragedy is marbled in our memory, and should inspire all conscientious Americans to sharpen our swords against injustice, wherever it may be, and to whomever it may be targeted.

(Gary L. Flowers is executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum, Inc. He can be reached at


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