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Beyond Trayvon, Taking Action on Behalf of the Underprivileged

Marcus Singletary, pictured first from left in back row, as a high-school Summer program counselor at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Chicago.
Marcus Singletary, pictured first from left in back row, as a high-school Summer program counselor at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Chicago.
Marcus Singletary

'Most people simply watch events from the sidelines. These people do not care about enacting positive social change; I do. So, in short, being a leader and a visionary is never hurtful to the enrichment of the human condition, and the true benefit of the entrepreneurial spirit is in the assistance of others – values Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Donald Trump would each agree with,' Los Angeles-based musician, activist, and media personality Marcus Singletary said during a January 28, 2014 interview with journalist Eliza Gale that laid bare his viewpoints and visions on a number of topics, including the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

In support of his message of non-violence, Singletary entered the fray during the George Zimmerman trial, when he authored a number of articles on the trial's underlying sociological conflicts. These included a discussion on the phenomenon of African-Americans as a Democratic voting bloc ('Blind Trust, Unions, and Black Political Zeitgeist'), commercialization and social movements ('The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin'), and the ongoing American demographic shift - one that cannot help but influence the decisions of political parties ('Hispanics, Stand Your Ground Laws, and America's Future.') His most recent contribution, 'Marcus Singletary Interviews Florida State Representative Dennis Baxley,' places Singletary squarely at the forefront of the Stand Your Ground debate, alongside the Republican co-sponsor of the bill itself.

In Singletary's initial statement to cable news network CNN on the issue, he said, 'I would love to help the family [of Trayvon Martin] out,' and he has done so by donating a percentage of the proceeds from a hooded sweatshirt - commissioned by Singletary and dedicated to Martin - to an organization established for such charitable contributions, The Trayvon Martin Foundation. 'The product was successful, as predicted,' Singletary emphasizes, 'and our support of that organization is not yet complete.' A portion of the inventory was also donated to the non-profit Arthritis Foundation via the Military Order of the Purple Heart, in cooperation with Savers, Inc.

Throughout his life, Singletary has displayed a devotion to humanitarianism. As a high-school student at Chicago's Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Singletary mentored Catholic grade-school children at nearby schools, provided counseling to prospective seminarians in a Summer program that Singletary describes as his first job, and participated in the Special Olympics as a volunteer.

His mission in providing care for the disadvantaged has continued, with contributions to the 10th Anniversary GRAMMY® Camp Scholarship Fund and the Autism Science Foundation, to whom Singletary donated three hundred and thirty-three compact discs from his own inventory (including the 2006 compilation, Rocks, Singletary's eponymous 2008 release, and the live album Take Me Out to the Ball Game, which features improvisational guitar tributes to the icons of Major League Baseball.) Several copies of this album were also contributed to the San Antonio, Texas-based Warrior Cry Music Project - a self-described 'group of volunteers who work with wounded soldiers at bases around the country [while providing] the soldiers with musical instruments and [teaching] them to play.'

Singletary has met his obligation to help not only the family of Trayvon Martin, but many others from different backgrounds through his philanthropic activities and ongoing commitment to public service. He posted the ultimate summary of why others should follow suit on the social networking site Twitter: 'Donate to charities and causes. Many lives will benefit from your grace in doing so.'

Follow Marcus Singletary on Twitter at @IAmSingletary, pick up a copy of his latest best-of compilation, In the Mix, on iTunes, and follow his advice to donate to your favorite causes, charities, and non-profit organizations.

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