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Pursuing Trayvon Martin

Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics

Edited by George Yancy and Janine Jones

On February 26, 2012, seventeen-year-old African American male Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a twenty-eight-year-old white Hispanic American male in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman killed Martin in a gated community. Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics, featuring a new preface by editors George Yancy and Janine Jones written after the June 2013 trial, examines the societal conditions that fueled the shooting and its ramifications for race relations and violence in America.

Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics attempts to capture what a critical cadre of scholars think about this potentially volatile situation in the moment. The text addresses issues across various thematic domains that are both broad and relevant. Pursuing Trayvon Martin is an important read for scholars in the fields of philosophy, criminal justice, history, critical race theory, political science, critical philosophies of race, gender studies, sociology, rhetorical studies, and for anyone hungry for critical ways of thinking about the Trayvon Martin case.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 302Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-7882-9 • Hardback • November 2012 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-0-7391-9484-3 • Paperback • May 2014 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
978-0-7391-7883-6 • eBook • November 2012 • $38.99 • (£24.95)
George Yancy is associate professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He is the author of Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race (2008) and Look, a White! Philosophical Essays on Whiteness (2012). Yancy is the editor of over twelve books and has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals. In 2012, he was nominated for the Duquesne University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

Janine Jones is associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is interested in philosophical topics and problems where race and gender, philosophy of mind, language, epistemology, and metaphysics intersect. She is the author of “Illusory Possibilities and Imagining Counterparts”
Acta Analytica (2004), “The Impairment of Empathy in Goodwill Whites” in What White Looks Like, ed. George Yancy, Routledge (2004), and Racialized Embodiment in Racialized Realms (Forthcoming Suny).

About the Contributors
Chapter 1: Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Magic Tricks of White Supremacy in the U.S.
Chapter 2: Imagined Communities: Whitopia and the Trayvon Martin Tragedy
Chapter 3: Indignity and Death: Philosophical Commentary on White Terror, Black Death and the Trayvon Martin Tragedy
Chapter 4: No Bigots Required: What the Science of Racial Bias Reveals in the Wake of Travyon Martin
Chapter 5: Two Forms of Transcendence: Justice and the Problem of Knowledge in the Trayvon Martin Case
Chapter 6: The Irreplaceability of Continued Struggle
Chapter 7: Dead Black Man, Just Walking
Chapter 8: Distorted Vision and Deadly Speech: Enabling Racial Violence through Paradox and Script
Chapter 9: “Seeing Black” through Michel Foucault’s Eyes: “Stand Your Ground” Laws as an Anchorage Point for State-Sponsored Racism
Chapter 10: Should Black Kids Avoid Wearing Hoodies?
Chapter 11: Can We Imagine This Happening to a White Boy?Chapter 12: A Mother’s Pain: The Toxicity of the Systemic Disease of Devaluation Transferred from the Black Mother to the Black Male Child
Chapter 13: Social Presence, Visibility, and the Eye of the Beholder: A Phenomenology of Social Embodiment
Chapter 14: Trayvon Martin, Racism, and the Dilemma of the African American Parent
Chapter 15: Refusing Blackness-as-Victimization: Trayvon Martin and the Black Cyborgs
Chapter 16: Politics, Moral Identity, and the Limits of White Silence
Chapter 17: Trayvon Martin and the Tragedy of the New Jim Crow
Chapter 18: “What Are You Doing Around Here?”:Trayvon Martin and the Logic of Black Guilt
Chapter 19: Trayvon Martin: When Effortless Grace is Sacrificed on the Altar of the Image
Coda: Through the eyes of a mother: Reflections on the rites of passage of black boyhood
'Wrong time, wrong place' goes the classic expression. But the problem is that if you’re the wrong race, any time and place can be wrong. Under white supremacy, the black body brings its own wrongness with it, rewriting the rules for what counts as reasonable suspicion, standing your ground, and justifiable self-defense. These urgent and timely essays on the Trayvon Martin killing expose in unflinching detail the racialized norms of white social cognition, and why justice demands their revision.

Charles W. Mills, CUNY Graduate Center

The chapters in Pursuing Trayvon Martin are written from a wide and diverse range of disciplinary perspectives: women’s studies, religious studies, criminology and criminal justice, Africana studies, philosophy, and psychology. . . . [One of] Pursuing Trayvon Martin’s strengths [is] its exhaustiveness in its thematic and analytical scope and the diversity of its authors and their approaches. . . . Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics will serve as an important point of reference as we continue in our struggle to understand this horrendous tragedy. Each piece begins a conversation that we should be on the alert for further development in a range of different fora. Yancy and Jones are to be commended for beginning this conversation and for their astute solicitation of work. The text’s scope, conceptual innovativeness, and thematic breadth give the work an archival quality. . . . This text honors the memory of Trayvon Martin.
APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience