THE BLOG
08/09/2013 05:52 pm ET Updated Oct 09, 2013

Boy Wonder -- Guy Wood Jr., Harlems' New Face

Travyon Martin. The name has a ring to it. Besides being famous as the center of the most talked about case in recent American news, his tragic death and the astonishing verdict that surrounded his death has made him unforgettable. But the name also just rolls off the tongue so smoothly.

As a mother, this case was very sensitive to me because I have two black male children -- it hit close to home. It slowly became a topic of concern for me and brought questions as to how my children's very existence would be viewed in American society. Further, I wondered how this would transcend the message of the worth of their lives to others.

I stay out of politics. I try to be familiar with what goes on within my community and the laws that govern my life, but other than that I stay out of it. I pay Cesar's thing back to Cesar and keep it moving.

But this particular case was and still determines how my life and that of my children can be viewed in today's society.

So as I walk down the street and see a young black man, I can't help but smile with a bit of sadness. I fear for my boys' fate just a little bit more. I hope for them a little bit harder. I am concerned by their behavior even more than yesterday, for fear that anything out of line, or out of order could be mistaken as hostility.

I can recall countless times when I saw other children, young people of other races, behaving publicly less than perfect. But I don't recall seeing anyone whispering, feeling uncomfortable, or even noticing fear in their actions. But when it was men or women of color, it was apparent there was obvious discomfort and fear. And even older people of color showed a hint of embarrassment. Its funny how skin color plays a role in the behavior and perception of others.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting another extraordinary young man, Guy Wood, Jr. This young man caught my eye when I walked into the chic, modern-mixed-with-vintage boutique on 245 Lenox Ave and Malcolm X Boulevard, Harlem Haberdashery.

I came in a week later when I was already up in Harlem for a luncheon. I stopped in to schedule a meeting with its owners to interview them about my new find, which really excited me. But while I was scheduling the appointment, I noticed this good-looking young man, on the floor, clicking images of the clothing using his IPhone.

I later asked the PR person who the young man was, assuming he was just an intern. It turned out to be the son of the owners who worked there. I immediately knew that I had to include him in our interview.

Trayvon Martin quickly came to mind. Trayvon could have been that intern, that employee, that son of a business owner.

My obsession began with this young man, because for as many negative stories we hear about young black or brown boys, I know a lot more positive ones.

So in light of the horrific death of this young man, this child, this baby whose life will never be developed to a full man, I want to find some amazing black boys who are shaping our community. Young men who are contributing positively to our society and to our futures. Maybe even some of them that look like Trayvon Martin.

I can't bring back Trayvon Martin, nor can I forget him. But all I know is that his name is forever embedded in my memory and I will never forget the sadness in my heart to first have heard of his death. The fear that overcame me for my own boys. The emptiness, a void, in his absence.

Guy Wood, Jr. The social responsibility you have to not only succeed doesn't come from your parents or immediate family. You are the hope and future for all black boys of color. Bravo for following in the footsteps of your father, your mother, and staying in the protection of your family. Your success is a warm connection to the late Trayvon Martin and countless of others who passed without the press covering their death.