The families of Sean Bell and Trayvon Martin are among those taking part in a fund-raiser at the Schomburg Center to raise money for programs targeting at-risk youth.
The event, which also features Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, is aimed at helping these youngsters build successful lives.
It also represents a coming together of the Bell and Martin families, and a sense of solidarity.
Joining them is the cousin of Emmett Till, the African-American teenager who was murdered in Mississippi in 1935.
Simeon Wright, who was in the bed with Till when he was snatched by the killers, says the Trayvon Martin case shows that more progress needs to be made.
"It all means it's showing America that we haven't gotten that far from 1935," Wright said.
"What happened to Trayvon Martin is the same thing that happened to my cousin Emmett Till, when they dragged him out of the bed and took him out and killed him."
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