*Gwen Carr mother of Eric Gradner:
The Sweet Maple Cafe in Chicago, famous for its grilled cheese sandwiches and sweet milk biscuits, typically closes each day after the lunch rush. But one evening in November, the restaurant opened for an unusual private dinner.
The mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, and a half-dozen other black women who had lost children in clashes with the police or in gun violence, were flown in from around the country and invited to gather around a table. They were joined by Hillary Clinton, who asked them, one by one, to tell her their stories.
“She took her pad and her ink pen, she wrote her own notes, and she asked us what did we need,” said Maria Hamilton, whose son Dontre was shot 14 times by a white Milwaukee police officer in 2014.
Mrs. Clinton appeared “visibly hurt” as the mothers spoke, said Lucia McBath, whose 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was fatally shot after playing loud music in his car in 2012.
The gathering, held without aides or journalists present, stretched into a nearly three-hour dinner over pork chops and gravy, fried okra and rice. After dessert of apple pie, Mrs. Clinton encouraged the women to organize and travel the country with her campaign.
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Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, campaigned with Mrs. Clinton at a town-hall-style event in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 23
Mothers Of Black Victims Emerge As A Force For Hillary Clinton was originally published on praisecleveland.com