Celebrities Pose in Trayvon Martin Hoodies Before the Oscars to Mark the 5th Anniversary of His Death

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Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Gabrielle Union wore “Trayvon” sweatshirts before their red carpet attire on Sunday. (Photos: Instagram/AP/Getty Images
Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Gabrielle Union wore “Trayvon” sweatshirts before their red carpet attire on Sunday. (Photos: Instagram/AP/Getty Images

Sunday was the biggest day of the year in Hollywood, but it wasn’t all about the glitz and glamour associated with the Academy Awards. It was also the five-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death and it didn’t go unmentioned by Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gabrielle Union, and some of the other big stars.

Prior to getting Oscar glam, these women — as well as director Ava DuVernay, who was a nominee last night — dressed themselves down in gray hooded sweatshirts, with the name “Trayvon” on the front, and shared the shots on social media. Of course, the hoodies were similar to what the 17-year-old high schooler was wearing when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., in 2012. The photos the women shared were pretty powerful.

DuVernay was a nominee for Best Documentary Feature for 13th, a look at the failing U.S. prison system and how it reflects the country’s history of racial inequality. She was red carpet ready for her big night, but perhaps the most poignant photo she had taken was one right before she left the house. That’s when she held up the the sweatshirt in front of her gown and closed her eyes in reflection.

“On my way to #Oscars,” she wrote. “Taking a moment to remember #TrayvonMartin. Our hoodies are still up and the movement is still strong.” The hashtag she, and many others used was, “#OurSonTrayvon.”

Earlier in the day, she also posted this:

Ava DuVernay at the Oscars. (Photo: Getty Images)
Ava DuVernay at the Oscars. (Photo: Getty Images)

Scandal star Washington wore a custom copper gown from Michael Kors Collection to the Vanity Fair party, where she hung with Hidden Figures star Janelle Monáe and chatted up Black-ish actor Anthony Anderson. However, earlier in the day she reminded followers that, “5 years later our hoodies are still up because the movement is still strong!,” and shared where people could buy their own.

Kerry Washington at the Vanity Fair party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kerry Washington at the Vanity Fair party. (Photo: Getty Images)

Black-ish star Ross was equally solemn when she posed outside on a balcony in her Trayvon top. She reminded her fans that “more work needs to be done” in honor of “#OurSonTrayvon‬.” She later made two different outfit changes to attend the Vanity Fair and Elton John AIDS Foundation parties.

Tracee Ellis Ross at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Tracee Ellis Ross at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party. (Photo: Getty Images)

Being Mary Jane‘s Union turned some major heads in “Gaultier goodness” at the Vanity Fair party, but that look pales in comparison to this one. Staring at the camera with her big eyes — and that powerful fashion choice — is a moving statement.

“February 26th, 2012 Trayvon Martin was killed,” she wrote. “5 years later our hoodies are still up because the movement is still strong @weareliberated #OurSonTrayvon#BlackLivesMatter.”

Gabrielle Union at the Vanity Fair party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Gabrielle Union at the Vanity Fair party. (Photo: Getty Images)

They weren’t alone in remembering Trayvon. Regina King wasn’t on the Oscars scene, but she also paid tribute to the late teen. She noted that his death doesn’t feel like it was five years ago, writing, “It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long because TOO many more hash tags have followed. Hoodie still up! The movement continues.”

Holly Robinson Peete posted a different style sweatshirt, but the message was the same. “5 yrs ago 17yr old #TrayvonMartin was profiled then murdered-his killer set free I will forever be shaken as a mom of 3 boys,” she wrote as she posed with one of her sons.

Meanwhile, Usher didn’t need to wear a sweatshirt to remember the senseless murder of Martin.

Zimmerman, a self-styled neighborhood watchman who shot the teen as he returned from buying candy at 7-Eleven, was infamously acquitted of second-degree murder charges. He’s gone on to have several more run-ins with the law, including two domestic violence incidents.

Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, have kept their son’s memory alive by becoming social justice advocates and recently co-authored a book about his death, Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.


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