Despite the half century separating the deaths of Medgar Evers and Trayvon Martin, the grieving women-turned-activists have lived and struggled under similar circumstances. And the more America has changed, the more it has remained the same.
Whether during the Jim Crow era or 21st century America, the lives of Black people have been under siege, their bodies devalued. Then and now, African-Americans have faced lynching at the hands of White men, whether police officers, self-proclaimed cops, vigilantes, mobs or domestic terrorists who were empowered to take matters into their own hands. History is about change, and yet it represents a continuum as well, with injustice likely to repeat itself, particularly if society fails to heed its lessons.
As we celebrate progress, we must also acknowledge the relentless nature of injustice, and the need to remain vigilant in order to eradicate it.