Black Voices

Trayvon Martin's Hoodie To The Smithsonian? Museum Expresses Interest In Iconic Piece Of Clothing (UPDATE)

Few things from the George Zimmerman trial are as emblematic as Trayvon Martin's hoodie. The piece of clothing -- which Martin wore the night he was shot to death in Sanford, Fla., early in 2012 -- has served as a rallying point for protesters across the country.

Now that the courtroom spectacle has concluded, evidence from the trial is slowly filtering back to Martin's family. And Lonnie Bunch, the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture has expressed an interest in that hoodie.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Bunch said the hoodie is uniquely positioned to help "ask the bigger questions" about race in America.

"It became the symbolic way to talk [about] the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,” Bunch said. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”

Kelly Crow, an art reporter for The Wall Street Journal, told CBS there likely wouldn't be many other institutions pursuing the hoodie, as it's such a contentious object.

"I think museums should chronicle the whole sweep of history," said Crow. "The bad stuff happened, and it's part of the story, and it should be included."

Bunch is no stranger to hosting controversial objects at the museum as a means to discuss similarly controversial topics.

Per Fox News, he also acquired the handcuffs police used on Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor who was arrested entering his own home in 2009, famously prompting a "beer summit" with President Obama.

UPDATE: Friday, August 2 -- In a series of tweets this morning, the Smithsonian acknowledged the potential historical value of items from the Zimmerman trial, but denied pursuing Trayvon Martin's hoodie to add to its collections.

What do you think: Does Trayvon Martin's hoodie belong at the Smithsonian? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @BlackVoices.

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