Talking To Black Boys About Trayvon Martin, Hoodies and Black Mom Fears


As I drove my 5-year-old to school, I could tell something was wrong.

It was out-of-uniform day at his school, and as always my son had carefully chosen the t-shirt, jeans and sneaker combination he was going to rock. But he was having second thoughts.

“Are you OK, buddy?” I asked him.

“Mommy, I don’t think I should wear this jacket. Can we go back and get another one?”

“But that’s your favorite jacket.”

“I know, but it has a hood. That big kid that got died [sic] was wearing one.”

The “big kid that got died” was Trayvon Martin. My son overheard me speaking about it, and had been asking me about the story. I told him what I could, based on his age. That Friday on the way to school, though, was the first time he made the connection between Trayvon and himself. It broke my heart…

Read the rest of MyBrownBaby contributor Bassey Ikpi’s poignant essay on how she talked to her 5-year-old son, Boogie, about the death of Trayvon Martin, hoodies and the fear black parents have for their sons on TODAY Moms.


1. Teenager Killed in Florida by Neighborhood Watch Brings Terror To My Heart
2. The Nation Is Watching: the Killer of Trayvon Martin MUST Be Arrested (UPDATE)
3. 911 Tapes In The Trayvon Martin Killing Reveal He Begged For Help; Zimmerman Shot Twice (UPDATE)
4. Another Black Boy, Another Senseless Murder When Will It Stop?

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Thanks for this post. Discussing Trayvon Martin with my 3 sons was something my husband and I felt we HAD to do after my youngest decided to forego wearing his fave school mascot hoodie. I’m sure families all across the world are having the same discussion with their kids. Sad situation on so many counts.

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