WATERVILLE — A group of about 30 Colby College students and faculty donned blue, black and gray hoodies today during a silent walk across campus to bring attention the shooting death of 17-year-old, hoodie-wearing Trayvon Martin in Florida last month.

A walk organizer, freshman Tionna Haynes, said the solidarity walk was also to demonstrate that the Colby community cares about what happens off Mayflower Hill.

Colby students are interested in more than who won the last game and when the next party is, said Haynes, a history and American studies double major from Queens, N.Y.

“Colby just isn’t our world,” she said. “The whole world is our world.”

Haynes said a hoodie used to be a fashion statement.

Now, though, hoodie-wearing people may be seen as threats who are “up to no good,” said Phyllis F. Mannocchi, a professor of English at the liberal arts college.


Mannocchi, who has a 17-year-old black son, said that last summer she often worried about him coming home late at night from friends’ houses.

“I’ve seen how people move away from him,” Mannocchi said. “It’s not evil; it’s ignorance.”

Haynes said when she went home for spring break she and her family watched coverage about the fatal shooting.

George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer, killed 17-year-old Martin Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., with a handgun.

Zimmerman told police he acted in self-defense after Martin pursued and attacked him.

News accounts have reported that Martin was unarmed and was carrying a cellphone, a package of Skittles candy and a bottle of iced tea.

The conversation about the incident will continue at Colby at an event on Wednesday, April 4.

“The Politics of Blackness, Vigilantism, and Hoodies: In Search of Justice for Trayvon Martin” will be at 6 p.m. in Lovejoy 116, sponsored by the African American Studies Program, Campus Conversations on Race and the Pugh Center.

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