PORTLAND -- Outrage over the shooting death of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin has a Portland mom turning into a reluctant activist, and calling people all over the city to action.
The case has brought to the national discourse what African-American parents call the talk : The conversation with teens about how to deal with people who find them suspicious, simply because of how they look.
Portland mom Mary Hill told KGW that after watching Martin's story, she knows the talk isn't going to be enough.
She doesn t consider herself political. She's far from an activist. She's a mom who s been following the story on the news. But unlike many of us, when Hill heard the unarmed boy was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, she met up with friends and decided to do something.
A simple Facebook page started circulating, advertising a rally Saturday. And to her surprise, hundreds of people in Portland got the message.
It stops us from ranting at the TV and gets us doing something, Hill said.
The Trayvon Martin story has exposed what moms like her have known for years.
As a mother of black kids, you have different talks with them: how to respond to the police, how to respond to racial taunting, she said. They call it the talk.
Another local mom, Midge Purcell, is with the Urban League of Portland. She said she lives in fear every time her 21-year-old son leaves the house.
I feel like there s a certain judgment that comes with your hoodie, your skin color, she said. She has had to explain to him, if you escalate a conversation it could have deadly consequences.
But when a teen coming home from the convenience store with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea is shot and killed, that s tough to explain. And that's part of the talk moms like these struggle to share with their kids.
I don t know how to tell them, Hill said.
Members of the community to meet in Portland's Peninsula Park Saturday morning to show support for the family of Trayvon Martin. Many of the participants wore hoodies, like the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot.