Entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey joins a legion of Trayvon Martin supporters who argue the 17-year-old ranks among other young African-American men who came face-to-face with racism, from Yusef Hawkins to Willie Edwards to Emmett Till.
Winfrey, who has remained relatively quiet on Martin’s death, spoke with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon on a segment appearing on NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning. The former talk show host and OWN chief executive spoke about the 17-year-old’s death, comparing it to that of Emmett Till.
“It’s so easy during this time… Trayvon Martin parallel to Emmett Till,” the talk show host said. “Let me just tell you, in my mind, same thing. But you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we’ve come.”
Till was shot and killed by a group of white men in Mississippi when he was 14 years old for reportedly flirting with a white woman. His brutal murder in 1955 served as one of the catalyst’s to the civil rights movement.
Martin, on the other hand, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., last year after the two engaged in an altercation of some kind, police believe. Zimmerman was acquitted last month — a ruling that spurned protests and rallies across the nation.
Though Zimmerman was found not guilty, the Department of Justice has launched its own investigation into case to determine if the 29-year-old will be brought up on civil rights charges.
Watch Winfrey’s segment on “Today” below.