CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mason Miller has a million dollar smile. But it's his heart that brought him to Marshall Park Thursday night.
"It kind of saddens my heart," Miller said. The Charlotte teenager was one of several hundred people to join the Million Hooded March in honor of Trayvon Martin.
Martin is the Florida teenager who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch captain while walking through a Sanford, Florida neighborhood.
Many who attended the Charlotte rally wore hoodies, bundled up in the heat, hoping to send a message.
"When I look at my son, I see Trayvon," said Michelle Miller. "It's just sad."
Miller's son is thirteen. "I shouldn't have to tell him that when you're in a store, don't have your hands in your pocket. Don't look suspicious," she said.
Mason said his mother often tells him to be careful. "I shouldn't have to have that conversation with my mother at 13 years old," he said.
The rally Thursday featured several speakers and a teenage girl who wrote a poem for the event.
"African Americans can't step into public with a hoodie without being suspected of something negative," the reader said.
Those who attended the rally said they want justice to be served and they want to be heard.
"We want something to be done," said Misty Thomas, who also attended the rally with her two young boys. She too has talked to her sons about the dangers of wearing a hoodie or looking suspicious.
Asked if that's a sad message to have to talk to her children about, she said, "This is what's going on in America and all over the world."