'What's So Frightening About A Black Man In A Hood?'

Ebenezer Baptist Church's pastor tells congregation to "rise up" to collectively speak for Treyvon Martin during Sunday "hoodie" service.

Sunday services took on a special meaning at , in the MLK Historic District.

Congregants went to church, many dressed with hooded jackets, in solidarity with Treyvon Martin, the 17-year-old black Florida boy who was gunned down in a gated community last month on his way home from a nearby store.

The shooting death has sparked national outrage among black Americans and international scrutiny regarding the American mantra of "liberty and justice for all."

Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, was unarmed and was returning from the store with a bag of Skittles candy and a can of iced tea.

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old shooter, told police the Feb. 26 incident in the Sanford, Fla. gated subdivision was an act of self-defense. He remains free.

The incident has renewed the debate about race in America as well as stereotypes and fears about young black men in a country that thought it largely passed such issues with the election of a half-black president.

Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News Channel commentator, stoked the fierce debate even further Friday when he said Martin is partly to blame for his own death because he wore a hoodie.

"I wonder what's so frightening about a black man in a hoodie," Ebenezer's pastor, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock said during a 30-minute-plus sermon.

"History suggests that we have good reason" to fear people in hoods, he said, an obvious reference to America's Ku Klux Klan past.

Warnock allowed East Atlanta Patch to record his sermon. Please click on the video tagged with this story to hear it.


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