The unarmed 17-year-old was shot and killed by a neighbor, who claimed he acted in self-defense. Martin, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, had only skittles and iced tea in his possession when he was shot. His alleged killer has not yet been arrested. Martin's death has sparked a national outcry, with rallies across the U.S; the situation prompted President Obama to comment on the tragedy. Rally organizers across the U.S. are encouraging participants to wear hoodies like the one worn by Martin on the night he was murdered.
The company of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess also lent their support this weekend, in a March 25 photo that depicts the cast and members of the creative team in hoodies.
The opera has a history of social involvement. The original cast refused to play Washington, D.C.'s National Theatre in 1936, which was segregated at the time, until theatre owners allowed African Americans to sit anywhere in the auditorium.