PHOTOS: ESSENCE's #HeIsNotASuspect Campaign

In response to the Trayvon Martin tragedy, ESSENCE launched the #HeIsNotASuspect campaign and invited women to post a photo of themselves with a young Black man they care about and tell us what makes them wonderful. It is time to celebrate our young men, not profile them.

ESSENCE.COM Jul, 17, 2013

1 of 99

This is my son Lloyd. He is a gift from God; born three months before my husband died. He loves books, cars, ice cream and going to the movies. He wants to be a football player, a basketball player, a baseball player and the President when he grows up! He is busy and he loves The Lord. #HeIsNotASuspect @essencemag

2 of 99

My lil big brother!!!! Uncle, brother, friend, student and entrepreneur. One of the most important ppl in my life. #heisnotasuspect

3 of 99

I love my son very much, and my heart's desire is to see him grow up and live a happy and productive life. Racial profiling must end! #heisnotasuspect #justicefortrayvon

4 of 99

I look into the eyes of this beautiful brown lil boy and see so much promise. I see love, curiosity and a life longed to be lived. I wish everyone saw our black boys & men with this love and in this manner. God bless his mother Atlas with the strength she will need as she sends him out into a sometimes cold world. The fight for equality is still heavy on our shoulders but a battle definitely worth FIGHTING!!! Let's continue to fight for one another and show up when others have thrown away who we are and what we've done for this beautiful country!!! Stay engaged in what affects us as a community and what will inevitably be what our babies inherit. #HeIsNotASuspect

5 of 99

@essencemag #HeIsNotASuspect He is my son. He is a future doctor, lawyer, politician...he is a child of God.

6 of 99

My son Jared is lovable, kind, patient and always willing to help others. He wants to play college football one day. He is also a great student. #heisnotasuspect

7 of 99

My son Jr. makes me so happy and proud to be his mother. He is the most loving little 5 year old anyone can meet. He takes his role as big brother very seriously, and is always protective over his little sisters. He loves to play video games, ride his bike, bake, help with cooking/cleaning, and most recently, learn Karate. He loves musical instruments and is very interested in learning how to play the piano and the drums. He loves to learn new things, and even more, loves to teach his sisters what he learns. He wants to be a dentist when he grows up. #HeIsNotASuspect #Essence #trayvonmartin

8 of 99

My 3 sons. Mario, 20 yr old college student ~ majoring in computer engineering. Bj, 15 yr old HS junior ~ honor student, loves soccer and football, and future entrepreneur. Deven, 11 yr old 6th grader ~ honor student, interested in everything and future MD. #HeIsNotASuspect

9 of 99

My son is affectionate and inquisitive. He adores Transformers and riding his scooter. #HeIsNotASuspect

10 of 99

This is my goofy, energetic, such a comedian/rapper/break Dancer all in one little brother. He is a team mate, a scholar, a big cousin, a son, a nephew, a grandson, a neighbor, a friend, a protector, but most of all #HeIsNOTaSuspect @essencemag

11 of 99

He's intelligent, funny, passionate, caring, high school graduate, he loves his family and football he is a college freshman he is my son,he's a grandson , a brother, a cousin, a God brother, a friend @essencemag #HeIsNotASuspect

12 of 99

My God son Dwayne Jr he is a straight A honor student, he loves his family, football, video games, going on vacation hanging out with his friends #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

13 of 99

This is my grandson on his graduation day from elementary school being hugged by his teacher. He will be entering middle school next year in honors classes. #Heisnotasuspect

14 of 99

This is me with my smart, handsome, & loving son Marcus. He is going to be a freshman in high school this fall. This year, Marcus earned a 1st degree Black Belt in Karate. We need to celebrate our young men, not profile them. #HeIsNotASuspect

15 of 99

#Essence this is my 21 year old son Greg Burks Jr., 4th-year engineering college student and full-time Area Manager at Jamba Juice. #HeIsNotASuspect

16 of 99

#heisnotasuspect. My beautiful young man Jared Roy.

17 of 99

My son Carlos Love #HeIsNotASuspect actually my son is a productive citizen. After completing High School at Carlson Sr. High School in Gibraltar, Michigan he attend Northwood University on a 5 year football Scholarship. My son has now been accepted to The DeVos Graduate School of Management this fall .My son is a young Black positive man that's going places #HeIsNotASuspect Mrs.Mary Louise Love, mother of Carlos Love

18 of 99

This is my 8 year old son Gavin. He is a math whiz who loves karate, video games and playing the drums. He is compassionate and thoughtful. God has big plans for him and so does his family. He is full of awesome! #HeIsNotASuspect @essencemag #lovemyson #mygiftfromGod #fullofawesome

19 of 99

Dear @essencemag this is Brandon Michael Pledger. He is a high school student enrolled in college courses, majoring in Astrophysics. He has never given my parents problems nor has he ever had any trouble in school. He is the same age as Trayvon Martin & even has the same physique. He is my little brother, a young intelligent African American male, and #heisNOTasuspect

20 of 99

My amazing boys. My goal in life is to raise them to be successful, productive, loving, faithful, praying men. They are already so amazing to me and make me so proud. #heisnotasuspect #blessed #sons #nephew #powerfulfutureleaders #myheart #lovethem

21 of 99

This is one of my class of 2013 seniors that received a full scholarship to Texas Christian University to play basketball. He is also very artistic and writes GREAT poetry! He is a super sweet person and always tries to lend a hand. He brought a lot of joy to the atmosphere at our school! #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

22 of 99

This is my son Mekhi.. he loves all things football and is a huge Ravens fan.. he plays football and basketball .. he is a straight A student going to the 4th grade in the fall.. he loves to read and is the king of useless information .. he is my sponge .. #HeisNotaSuspect

23 of 99

This is me and my son Q. @suavequav He is 21, a talented musician, a gentleman, and a remarkable young man. He is NOT a suspect.

24 of 99

This is my son Niles. He is an award winning student and star basketball player. His dream is to be in the @nba one day. #HeIsNotASuspect!

25 of 99

Me and my brothers(from left to right ) Malcolm a current graduate of Virginia State University, Joseph the current City Council of Hyattsville Maryland, alumni of Morehouse College and Rutgers, Akeem perspective graduate of Howard University #theyarenotsuspects#heisnotasuspect @essencemag

26 of 99

My nephew Glen Caldwell, III is a college student, football player and an awesome big brother! @essencemag #HeIsNotASuspect

27 of 99

@essencemag This is Micah, my youngest son, he is almost the same age as Trayvon Martin. He is intelligent, confident, outgoing, stubborn, outspoken, athletic, hilarious, and a blessing. #heisnotasuspect

28 of 99

My son 16 yrs old #HeIsNotASuspect 6"5 plays basketball for fun scored 1850 on SAT & still wants to take it over feels he can do even better my pride and joy His sweatshirt Hoodie along with my Cloaks is a fashion clothing item not a threat #JusticeforTrayvon

29 of 99

I'm the mom of 3 beautiful African American young men! This is my middle son, Darren. Darren could have been Trayvon Martin, he is 18 years old, wears hoodies, drinks Arizona teas, lives in Florida and has had some challenges in his young life already. But no matter what he is has done or not done...until he commits a crime...HE IS NOT A SUSPECT!!! #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

30 of 99

My son is my heart. He's got the most amazing smile and the cutest laugh. He's energetic and smart. I love him more than life and #HeIsNotASuspect

31 of 99

This is my son Thomas he is a funny, caring and witty son and big brother. He loves WWE and Superheroes. He has played a multitude of sports. His main job is to watch over his mom and sister because his daddy instills that in him. #heisnotasuspect

32 of 99

My son Jeremy is 16, plays football, is a gentleman, dreams of being a video game designer and is teaching himself how to play the piano. He is a wonderful big brother to 3 sisters and #HeIsNotASuspect ! @kingbosh

33 of 99

@essencemag This is my 9 year old son Zakhari. He's a soon to be 5th grader, and so full of life. He's so special to me because I almost lost him while giving birth, but God knew I needed him to be apart of my life. He enjoys talking, reading, playing video games, riding his bike, and playing basketball. Most importantly...#HeIsNotASuspect #justice #trayvonmartin #justicefortrayvonmartin

34 of 99

This is my 13 year old. He is going to the 8th grade and wants try out for his swim team. He loves to draw and aspires to be a cartoonist/artist when he gets older. @essencemag #HeIsNotASuspect

35 of 99

@essencemag This is my son Nygel. He is an honors student and in a 7 year science program at AMHN #HeIsNotASuspect

36 of 99

My nephew Jarred is about to be a senior at #YALE he is an awesome young man; intelligent, funny, caring, kind, helpful and an educator. He's a great example of what many of our young men are and a role model for many more of our young black men aspire to become. #HEIsNotaSuspect @essencemag

37 of 99

This is My little brother Jared! He is an amazing young black man! A great friend and joy to everyone he meets! My best friend!!! #heisnotasuspect #riptrayvon

38 of 99

This is my little cousin who is such a great young man! He is really good on the football field and he's a really nice guy! He should not be profiled! #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

39 of 99

Thirteen years ago today, I welcomed a beautiful 8 lbs 6 oz baby boy into this world. We have defied odds and grown up together. Today I am wishing this amazing young man of mine a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love you J!!!!!!

40 of 99

My son is 8yrs old! He loves to play basketball, video games, and loves to wear hoodies!! He is not perfect but that does not make him suspicious!!! #HEisNOTaSUSPECT

41 of 99

This is my four year old son, Aaron. He loves Thomas the Train and reading. He knows all of his letters, shapes, colors, and much more. He said he wants to be Batman and Captain America when he grows up #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

42 of 99

When I heard the verdict Saturday night the first thing I did was pick up my one-year-old son, Jack. #HeIsNotASuspect

43 of 99

This my oldest child Jeremiah. He loves cars and trains. And is very intelligent for his age. #heisnotasuspect

44 of 99

#heisnotasuspect - he is kind, respectful, a good student, loves sports, and aspires to have a career in law enforcement after graduating from college.

45 of 99

This is B, my almost 4 year old. He is bright, funny, handsome, and likes to be friends with everyone he meets. He makes up dances and likes to sing Rihanna in the car. He has all the potential in the world. And when it rains, he puts on his hoodie. #heisnotasuspect #stopprofilingourboys #justicefortrayvon #hoodiesfortrayvon @essencemag

46 of 99

This is my son Ashton Mishon Fisher he loves music, football and birthday cake! He is very smart and loves his family! #HeIsNotASuspect

47 of 99

These are two of my three sons: Esa, 13 yrs on the left and Khalil 11 yrs on the right. They love sports, swimming and are very artistic. They are kind and very thoughtful to everyone they meet. I'm always encouraging them to be the best they can be and there's no limit to what they can achieve in life. #heisnotasuspect #essence

48 of 99

This is my favorite #1 son Christian. He is an amazing boy with great potential. He loves superheroes and sports. He wants to be a pilot and a song writer when he grows up. #HeIsNotASuspect

49 of 99

This is Emiliano. He is 2 1/2 and loves cars and trucks. He loves music and riding his bike. He impresses me more and more each day. I adore him. #heisnotasuspect

50 of 99

This is Zayden he is an energetic 4 year old . He loves sports and always wants to try new things , he pushes his limits daily to learn or achieve something he did not the day before. He will be successful and he will go far in life . #HEISNOTASUSPECT @essencemag

51 of 99

This is my son Nicholas Jr.!! He likes swimming, pancakes, reading & playing!! When he grows up the sky is the limit!!! #HeIsNotASuspect

52 of 99

This is my son Kiyan. He's such a happy kid who loves to learn, play basketball, and go swimming. He says when he grows up he wants to be like his dad. #HeIsNotASuspect

53 of 99

This is Kaden, 2 1/2 years old. He enjoys playing the 'drums' around the house: coffee table, tv stand, daddy's head, & whatever he can get his sticks on! He loves Disney's Cars and trucks! He is my son! #HeIsNotASuspect #TrayvonMartin @essencemag

54 of 99

Cobz is my one and only son. He is also a brother, a grandson, a nephew and a friend to many. Also respectful, smart, a christian, lovable, and a future engineer and so much more. He is the 3rd love of our family. Boys will be boys and should not be afraid to do just that. Let's support no more stereotyping young boys. #Essence #HEISNOTASUSPECT

55 of 99

My unconditional, my son Carlos. He is a bright eyed, sports loving, super cool and entertaining smart kid whom I adore. He is even learning Mandarin Chinese. #HeIsNotaSuspect #essencemagazine

56 of 99

I love this boy unconditionally. He's my rock and he's my right hand. He's the future. #heisnotasuspect

57 of 99

Here I am with one of the most intelligent, kind hearted and sensitive person I know. This is my son Ian. He loves Pokemon, soccer, and riding his bike. #HeIsNotASuspect #justicefortrayvon #essence

58 of 99

This is my son, Blake. He is 11 years old. He loves race cars, math, & outdoor activities. His dream is to become a police officer and fight crime. #heisnotasuspect. @essencemag

59 of 99

This is my son Roman. His favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba and he loves to dance. He loves to make people smile and I know that he is going to be something GREAT one day. #heisnotasuspect #justicefortrayvon @essencemag

60 of 99

My oldest...he's 12, an honor student, plays the trumpet & loves to read! #heisnotasuspect

61 of 99

These are my boys Keyshawn and Kenyen, Keyshawns a very and smart child who love to laugh and make ppl laugh, he loves basketball, wrestling, and loves learning new things he has an great future ahead of him! Kenyen is the smartest 1yr old I know he has an awesome personality and as bright further ahead of him as well! I love my boys! #HeIsNotASuspect & #HeIsNotASuspect #justicefortrayvon

62 of 99

My son Corey is a HS grad. College sophomore. Recipient of both academic & athletic scholarships. He loves his family and football. He also IS NOT SUSPICIOUS! #heisnotasuspect

63 of 99

Presenting my son Gregory, a thoughtful, witty and wicked smart kid who adores his twin sister, loves his parents and respects his friends and himself. Just 17 years old, he is spending his summer abroad in Turkey with #thekappaleague program and getting immersed in a culture where #heisnotasuspect. I love this kid!

64 of 99

This is my oldest son Quest, he is 13 years old, attends a Math & Science academy, plays the bassoon, NAACP academic excellence recipient, loves technology and building gaming computers. His name means"in search of." Infinite possibilities for our boys! #heisnotasuspect #essence

65 of 99

This is my nephew Caymen he is 4. Cay loves cars and video games and thinks that he is too big for auntie's hugs and kisses. Cay is very smart and starts school this fall. #HeIsNotASuspect #essencemag

66 of 99

This lil dude is the twinkle in my eye. He's my life! He should be loved, valued, and cherished. Sadly, we live in a world where he could be gunned down for looking "suspicious". I love my nephew. Stop profiling our boys! #HeIsNotaSuspect

67 of 99

I love my godson Cyrus Roy Wilson-Cuevas! He's funny, sensitive, athletic and creative. @twodadstwokids

68 of 99

This is my son Jahid. He is 13 years old & heading to the 7th grade. He is a Boy Scout who happens to be awe-tistic. #Heisnotasuspect

69 of 99

Out of the four men before him (my dad,two brothers, and his dad) Bryson, my only son, has been the only male to love me unconditionally. He's very inquisitive...loves to ask questions about life in general. He loves to sing, play the drums, ride his bike, play soccer and he's fascinated by all things Transformers. He's very compassionate toward me and his three sisters. He's helpful, appreciative, gentle, and caring. Bryson loves to talk about whatever is on his mind at the time. I love him...his lisp and stinky under arms. He's my everything. #heisnotasuspect #myson

70 of 99

#heisnotasuspect .. My nephews are the sweetest kindest most loving Lil men I know they have a right to live a life of live love not fear!!!!! #BOYCOTTFLORIDA - speak with your money. That's all some hear. No more #disney #southbeach #orlando it has to #startsomewhere

71 of 99

@essencemag I Love them with all my is funny & very smart. One is very creative and is a peoples person. One is very dependable and has a big heart. #THEYareNOTsuspects #heisnotasuspect #JUSTICE4TRAYVON

72 of 99

I asked God to send someone to love me unconditionally. I was gifted with a nephew. Innocent, true in intentions . He's his Universe. Pure, absolute in innovation . #HeIsNotASuspect @EssenceMag #EssenceMag #nephew #uncle #love

73 of 99

This is my son, Xavier Maddox Wilson - my miracle baby that God so graciously blessed us with. He loves to play golf, laugh and play with his friends and family. Through God's continued grace and provision, may he grow up to be successful, talented, a light a dark world, and a valued- not FEARED - Black man. #HeIsNotaSuspect @essencemag

74 of 99

This is my beautiful godson. He is so smart and full of charisma. He takes the best care of his baby sister and he he gives the best hugs. #HeIsNotASuspect

75 of 99

This is my awesome son Dominic. He is 6 years old & will be starting 1st grade. He loves to skateboard, ride his bike, and he currently wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. #HeIsNotASuspect @essencemag

76 of 99

This is my son Jaden, he is 4 years old. J loves drawing pictures, dancing, watching power rangers, and being outdoors riding his bike and playing basketball. He is the most loving kid I know and in his innocence he doesn’t see wrong in anyone he meets, always offers a smile and a hug to anyone open to receive it. He enjoys working in the garden with his great grandmother and just spending time with his family. He is my joy and my desire for him is that he never has to worry about being stereotyped by anyone. #HeIsNotASuspect

77 of 99

These are my 3 handsome boys. My heart manifested! They are highly intelligent, funny, deeply compassionate & thoughtful. They are the BEST parts of my husband & I. Today they will be foremost on my mind, as I pray for justice. It's a unique burden of the mother raising Black men. A distinct fear we live with. That the world will look at them & not see them for what they are, but as alien or suspicious through no fault of their own. And in that, tragic shameful events can occur. Kill #stereotypes! Stop #profiling Choose to #Love Embrace one another! #justicefortrayvon #martinfamily #peace #WalkingWhileBlack #instapic

78 of 99

This is my son Jayden and he will soon be 4 years old. He loves basketball and chicken nuggets. He is caring, inquisitive, and opinionated (just like his mommy) . He tells me "I love you" several times a day. He is my light and I pray daily that one day the world will accept him for the person he is and not judge him because of the color of his skin. #heisnotasuspect

79 of 99

My son Xavier is smart, witty, loving, sensitive and is as hard as a feather. He's not in a gang, doesn't have friends who are gang members and he believes in the best of all people. A former military brat, he loves to travel and as visited 38 of our 50 states. I love him with my whole heart and love that he enjoys helping others when they're in need. He's an only child, a bit spoiled but has learned from the people that matter most; his parents! #HeIsNotASuspect #myson

80 of 99

My son Nigel Malik Ishmael {dark king Son of God} is 17 and dreams of being a fashion designer/stylist. He owns his own T-shirt line: "Slouch" is God Fearing, and most respectful! #heisnotasuspect #stoptheprofiling

81 of 99

My fun loving grown "baby" just graduated from Grand Valley State University with a B. A. in IT and is in the Sigma Phi Beta fraternity and is a lover of all things electronic.. He is a self proclaimed geek and is smart, witty, respectable & handsome to boot. I know he is not technically a boy at almost 23 but he will always be my baby and I still worry about him in this cruel callous world we live in. #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

82 of 99

This case is breaking my heart.. I pray for Trayvon's mother. Can't imagine what she's been through.. #heisnotasuspect

83 of 99

Rising college freshman, track athlete, neighborhood kid. #heisnotasuspect

84 of 99

This is Spencer Jr. He is so funny, intelligent and caring. Spencer loves riding his bike and playing with his cars. My son has a big heart and loves to help others. His future is bright and limitless! #HeIsNotASuspect @essencemag #justiceforTrayvon

85 of 99

#Repost me & my almost 14 year old brother, Trey. He's intelligent, funny, loving & ambitious. He aspires to do many things, such as get even better in basketball than he already is, as well as have a successful career one day. He isn't violent. He isn't rude. He isn't a criminal. He doesn't look suspicious. #HeIsNotASuspect

86 of 99

This is my cousin Tayvon. He is kind-hearted, well-mannered, and very respectful. He is an amazing athlete who plays ALL SPORTS! He is on the youth usher board at church and a joy to know! #heisnotasuspect #youthministry #ilovemykids

87 of 99

This is Jordan. He is funny, intelligent, talented, and a gentleman. He loves to play piano, rap, and go to church. He is going places!!! Can't wait to see how he develops! #heisnotasuspect #youthministry #ilovemykids

88 of 99

#heisnotasuspect @essencemag This is my son. My son loves to read, write stories, draw, and enjoys going to church. He loves his Family and enjoys spending time with his family. He is taught to say Ma'am and Sir in order of respect to his elders. My son has very high hopes and dreams he wants to achieve in life.

89 of 99

This is my son Devin. He is smart, funny, opinionated, loves reading, video games, and tennis shoes. #HEISNOTASUSPECT

90 of 99

#HeIsNotASuspect Supporting the advocacy of seeing our young men as valuable. God has great things in store for these young men! Thank you Father for Your protection and covering over my children

91 of 99

#heisnotasuspect He is an honor roll student with an Ivy League in sight. @getyolyfe_fwm_eric @_xericaxx_

92 of 99

Love @EssenceMag #heisnotasuspect campaign! ~ He is an intelligent, funny, handsome young man who will grow up to be successful in whatever he does!

93 of 99

#HeisNotaSuspect @essencemag Judgement is never ours to give. Suspicion is a fear of ignorance when reasons are unwarranted. They r Kings, Princes, future Doctors, future Lawyers, future Senators.... Future Presidents. Lift them up don't break them down.

94 of 99

I pray that my son will always #LIVE his life for the LORD and that he will give him long life full of joy, peace and happiness! #heisnotasuspect @essencemag

95 of 99

My son and I were so honored and blessed to attend today's #100CityTrayvon Vigil in Northern, VA. DaSean is a celebrated and respected young black male. #HeIsNotASuspect #JusticeForTrayvon #TMMFoundation

96 of 99

#heisnotasuspect My son Jirah is very intelligent, loves all sports and an entertainer on every level. Whenever he's in a room he makes sure you know he's there, he is destined for greatness and it will come to pass! @essencemag #heisnotasuspect

97 of 99

#HeIsNotASuspect Headed to the Trayvon Martin rally in downtown Miami... #JusticeForTrayvon

98 of 99

This is my 7 year old future writer. He loves school, reading, puzzles, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Bros, pizza, and flag football. #heisnotasuspect

99 of 99

This is my son Brandon...He is 13 years and a Born Survivor.... on a breathing machine for 10 days after being born, he overcame it and never looked backed. Always being considered a gifted child, he excelled at the top of his class EVERY SINGLE CLASS! When most 13 year olds are embracing the hip hop culture, he spends his days writing movies and exploring the Japanese Culture, with plans to move there in the future ...I don't understand it, but i embrace his individuality and admire his drive when most think he's different! He is proud of who he is, and that makes me even prouder to be his Mother!!!!! He is my Baby! #Heisnotasuspect


# News


# News