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African-American Familes Not Optimistic After Zimmerman Acquittal

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) —  President Obama’s statement that “It could have been me” – a reference to slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin — resonates with many black families in Chicago.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot talks to parents and their sons about life after the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict.

Three families express their feelings and fears, when it comes to their race.

“I have to be careful of how I’m perceived. I have to make sure to dress a certain way,’ says Claude King Jr. “It’s a constant reminder that I am a black man in America.”

These young men say, being a black man in America has taken on a whole new meaning after neighborhood watch member Zimmeran was found not guilty in the death of Martin.

“It’s just more of a scary reminder that racism is still alive, that we aren’t necessarily safe. Danger can be around a corner, in any neighborhood,” says Daniel Clark.

Parent Claude King Sr. is also pessimistic.

“This country has a problem with recognizing the value of the life of young black men,” he says.

“It just brought more awareness that nothing much has changed in America,” mother Denise King says.

Parents are telling sons to do things differently in the wake of the verdict.

“Be cautious of your surroundings. Use wisdom. Don’t try to handle situations on your own,” Brenda Porter says.

Sandra Clark says: “You’ve got to be ready to call for help.”

Her son, Zachary, says, “There’s definitely been prejudice against some parts of my family, just because of the way that we look … I definitely don’t see it changing, unless something groundbreaking happens.”

Zachary Clark’s mother hopes the attention this case has drawn can lead to more open dialogue between parents and their children when it comes to race, conflict and solutions.