Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Created by:
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, American  Search this
Subject of:
Trayvon Martin, American, 1995 - 2012  Search this
Recorded by:
Alfred Street Baptist Church, American, founded 1803  Search this
DVD (a): plastic and metal
Diameter: 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Place filmed:
Alexandria, Virginia, United States, North and Central America
July 14, 2013
This DVD contains a recording of the sermon "When the Verdict Hurts, Mark 15:21" given by Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, on July 14, 2013. The sermon is in response to George Zimmerman being found not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin. The verdict was announced the evening prior to the sermon.
This DVD contains a recording by the Alfred Street Baptist Church of the sermon "When the Verdict Hurts, Mark 15:21" given by Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley at the Alexandria, Virginia, church on July 14, 2013. The silver disc has black text printed on the front side with information about the video recorded on it and the complete contact information for the church. In the video Wesley stands at the wooden pulpit on a stage with a choir behind him in rows of wooden pews. He is flanked by women and men who sit behind the pulpit. Wesley wears a black cassock with red trim and buttons. The sermon begins with Wesley explaining his disappoint in the verdict of the case of Trayvon Martin's killer George Zimmerman announced the evening prior, followed by a reading of Mark 15:21. Wesley goes on to discuss his struggle with his reactions to the events through a theological perspective and through his position as a black man, separating at times his denies between "Howard-John" and "the Reverend Doctor Pastor." He continues by recounting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the story of Simon, who carried the cross for Jesus. Wesley relates Simon's role as one of being forced to carry the weight of an unjust verdict put upon another (Jesus), and compares it to the role of himself and the congregation in carrying the weight of the acquittal of Zimmerman. Wesley also notes that Simon was an African in Rome for Passover. He proclaims that God carried Simon, and He carried those from Africa through past unjust murders of black men, and that He will carry them through the current situation. He calls on the congregation to carry the weight for their children, drawing comparisons between them and Simon, who had two sons. Wesley says they must "carry it correctly" to prevent their children from only feeling anger and acting in violence, and instead "be productive." He ends by reassuring the congregation that faith in God will see them through and will help them.
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Identity  Search this
Justice  Search this
Men  Search this
Preaching  Search this
Religion  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
U.S. History, 2001-  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Media Arts-Film and Video
Black Lives Matter
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture