Washtenaw Community College students gathered recently at The Fallout studio in Manchester recently, to put together a song voicing their opinions over the recent Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.
The project stemmed from a discussion brought up in instructor Michael Naylor’s Music Appreciation classes, which originally was going to become a school-wide event, involving students and employees. After Naylor was informed by college officials that they were not willing to have the college directly involved, students took it upon themselves to complete the project.
“This is about a kid, so the kids should do this; the students have to do this,” Naylor said.
“This is a good opportunity to show we care, and how we can fix the bigger problem,” said John Watson, a 21-year-old history and English major from Manchester, and owner or of the studio. “This goes deeper than how the media portrays it.”
Calling itself “Students for a Better World,” the group was planning a video to go along with the song, but for now they are stressing their opinions on the topics of racism and hate crimes through their music.
“I wish it wouldn’t have taken a catastrophe for anyone to do anything about it” said Nick Engelhardt, 20, a music and dance major from Onsted.
Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American who was allegedly shot to death on Feb. 26 by Andrew Zimmerman, a 28-year-old self-described “community watch” coordinator, has spawned an entire movement across the country. Protests have been held in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, amongst other places, in wake of the shooting.
Watson, the principle lyricist on the project, raps in the song about how the distress and sorrow have caused another mother to cry and said he hopes the project will make aware, to those who will listen, of what he calls a major problem in American culture, judgment.
“If it’s truly a shooting of (Martin) being black, then it saddens me,” said Carol Ann Polzin, 48, an accounting student, and mother, from Willis. Polzin drove an hour to lend her voice to the song at the March 25 event.