A pair of videos - one featuring celebrities, one starring ordinary people - have surfaced online as public service announcements and tributes to Trayvon Martin.
In the first, singer Chaka Khan enlists help from celebrity friends Kelly Price, Eric Benét, Eva Pigford, Kenny Latimore, Terry Crews, Angela Bassett, Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine, creating this public service announcement for Trayvon Martin:
Donning a black hoodie, Chaka sings “A mama’s cryin’ ’cause another young man has gone and died. He’s not some statistic. He’s an awesome destiny denied.”
In a second video, filmmakers from Newark, N.J., assembled 30 African-American males to lend their voices to speak out on the Trayvon Martin case and the way they believe black males are being perceived in the media and society.
They, too, wear hooded sweatshirts as audio of a 911 dispatcher speaking to George Zimmerman, and Geraldo Rivera's comments, play in the background:
The tributes are moving, however, some have suggested that Martin becoming a national symbol and media obsession has indirectly led to bias against George Zimmerman, who claims self-defense and has not been charged with a crime.
Martin's death is a tragedy and the public is right to question why an unarmed teen was slain. Yet making Trayvon into a martyr or entertainment form oversimplifies a complex matter does little to honor his memory - or the accused's right to due process.
It's important to consider all sides of the issue. Do you agree?