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Mother of Trayvon Martin visits Stephen Lawrence memorial

Grey skies stretched over Well Hall Road in Eltham this morning, and rain drizzled off the roof of the bus shelter.

She was a long way from the sunshine of her native Florida, but Sybrina Fulton - the mother of Trayvon Martin - came here to walk side by side with another grieving mother.

Doreen Lawrence showed Sybrina the bus stop where her son Stephen was attacked nearly twenty years ago, and then further up the road the memorial to his short life.

Doreen Lawrence walks with the Sybrina Fulton to the bus stop where Stephen was attacked

When Doreen explained how difficult she still finds it to come to this place, Sybrina nodded knowingly. The loss of a child is not something a mother gets over, and it is a terrible bond that these women share.

Later, over a cup of coffee, they talked of police failures and racial profiling. There are many similarities between the tragedies that have struck their families.

Their boys were both teenagers when they died. Stephen and Trayvon were full of potential and had big plans for their futures which will never be realised.

The memorial to Stephen Lawrence in Eltham

But there's one big difference, and that is how the criminal justice systems in their respective countries eventually dealt withthe killing of their sons.

Doreen had to wait nineteen years for just two of the multiple suspects in her son's murder to be brought to justice.

Within two months of Trayvon's murder, after a national outcry and the intervention of President Obama, Sybrina saw the man who killed her son arrested, and now knows that he will face trial.

Both women were forced to campaign for justice for their boys, but for the Martin family, results came much more quickly.

And so when I interviewed them today, their attitudes differed. There was some optimism in Sybrina's tone, she spoke of how she hoped race would not be a factor in the trial of her son's killer, and that Trayvon might one day stop being referred to as a 'black teenager', and become simply 'a teenager'.

Meanwhile there is still anger in Doreen's eyes when she says that the police would have investigated Stephen's death a lot more thoroughly had his skin been white, and not black.

Grief unites these two strong, determined women. What separates them is the way their societies responded to the deaths of their beloved sons.

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