Smithsonian Wants Trayvon's Hoodie
For National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open in 2015
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2013 6:20 AM CDT
Several people wear hoodies in front of the Alabama Capitol during a Trayvon Martin rally, Saturday, July 20, 2013, in Montgomery, Ala.   (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Lloyd Gallman)

(Newser) – It's one of the most talked about sweatshirts in America. Now, the dark gray hoodie Trayvon Martin was wearing the night he was killed may be put on display for all to see. The director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (set to open in 2015) thinks the iconic sweatshirt would be a meaningful addition to its growing collection. "It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case," Lonnie Bunch told the Washington Post. "Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama."

How likely is it to happen? The Post reports it could be years before Trayvon's family has a chance to collect the hoodie. It's currently being held on orders from the Justice Department as a civil rights investigation is under way. Once the family is permitted to pick it up, they'll be able to decide what to do with it. Should they hand it to the Smithsonian branch, it'll join items like the handcuffs that were infamously placed on Henry Louis Gates Jr. The Los Angeles Times notes other signature items from high-profile cases have ended up in museums: The Newseum has Ted Kaczinski's cabin in its collection.

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Jan 20, 2014 1:28 AM CST
Do you think the family will donate it or will it have to be bought?
Aug 4, 2013 1:50 PM CDT
Can someone splain something to me? If I were a person of color I would be insulted by some of the programs in place today. I mean - I THOUGHT we had gotten beyond the separate bathrooms for different races, eliminated the divided eating areas and separate doors for white and other than white. I thought we had ended the "back of the bus" mentality. So WHY is it we have separate areas, separate sections or buildings, separate college classes, clothing and other things specifically for African Americans? Why don't we have American History with ALL RACES represented in accordance with their contribution to history? In the case of the Smithsonian having an African American section are we not STILL saying "you take and display your history over there but not with "our" American history"? Wouldn't you want to be part of the "American" history story - with everyone else - not off in your "special" (back of the bus, not in my sight) area? Unless it is to PROMOTE and perpetuate racial separation WHY do we have in the UNITED States organizations that represent ONLY ONE group of people, whether it's the NAACP, BET, AAL or whatever???? If we want to be seen and treated the same as every other American don't we need to get rid of these labels, organizations and groups whose sole purpose is to treat one group of people differently than others? And WHY would we want to display an item like Travyon's hoodie that only serves to enflame and encite racial antagonism? How can a black look at the hoodie and not think white oppression and how can a white look at the hoodie and not think of the black gangs? Is the African American wing of the Smithsonian going to display items representating the black on black violence that is 10X worse than the white on black violence? Or again is the "real purpose" of the display to be something other than showing the REAL everyday adversity that our black communities face?
Aug 4, 2013 1:41 AM CDT
Hey, dat hoodie gots bad mojo bro.