Sybrina Fulton’s life changed forever when her son, Trayvon Martin, was shot dead by George Zimmerman in 2012. Ever since then, she’s gotten deeply involved in social justice work and grassroots organizing to help protect Black lives. Her journey through life may be headed to a new level.
If Trayvon Martin were alive today, he might be graduating from college around now. Instead, it’s been more than five years since he died and his family never even got to see him graduate high school. To help honor Trayvon’s dream of becoming a pilot, Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Fla. will grant him a posthumous Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Science, according to HBCU Digest.
My best friend’s brother was murdered in 2012. We shared a birthday and the Blackness for which he was killed. My mother might say the fact that we didn’t share the same fate is only by the grace of God. I wonder what kind of God saves one mother’s Black boy just to take one away from another and calls that grace.
I am reminded of my precarious Black life, seemingly hinging on a senseless God’s whims, whenever my friend’s brother’s name is evoked. You see, Trayvon was the reason #BlackLivesMatter erupted with such force it was able to stop so many from forgetting what makes them not matter. And, like many Black folks in my generation, Trayvon Martin’s death and his murderer’s acquittal marked a vital juncture in my social awakening. If it weren’t clear before, the disregard for Martin’s life by Zimmerman, the media, and finally, the state, made plain just how long we had been walking in place when it came to the liberation of Black communities.
After a lengthy war over the rights to two books, Jay Z and the Weinstein Company are set to produce a documentary series on the life of Trayvon Martin.
If they were asked, Trayvon Martin’s parents wouldn’t hesitate to do whatever they could to have their son back. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. So Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin are doing all they can with their platform to make the world better than it was when their teenage son was killed.
So far, the two have to worked with a number of community organizations, have created The Trayvon Martin Foundation and written a memoir about their experiences. The next step is for them to have their eyes on local politics and beyond.
Florida State Attorney Angela Corey has lost her reelection bid, making her the first incumbent state attorney in modern history to lose a contested election, according to The Florida Times Union. Corey was the attorney who failed to convict George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin. Corey also brought aggravated assault charges against Marissa Alexander for the victimless crime of firing a warning shot into the air to ward off her abusive husband.
One might assume that after someone goes through what they claim was a traumatic, life-changing event, they’d do their best to move past it and get on with their lives. Apparently, auctioning off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012, is George Zimmerman’s way of trying to do that.
“What I’ve decided to do is not cower,” he said in an interview with WOFL-TV, according to CNN. “I’m a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions.”
When a jury acquitted George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin in 2013, I had only been 21 years old for a week. In that short time, I already brought in the milestone with friends and family on multiple nights full of good times and laughter. As a matter of fact, when I got the news of the acquittal, I was headed home from the Taste of Chicago with a friend after paying way too much for domestic beers all day.
Today is the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. He was gunned down in 2012 by George Zimmerman in a residential development in Sanford, Florida. This week, the Department of Justice announced that they would not press federal civil charges against Zimmerman.
One of the organizations that grew out of the outrage, after, is called Million Hoodies, and they’re calling for supporters to shut protest at their local hall of justice. The hashtag #HoodiesUp has also been used widely on Twitter to mark the anniversary. Overall, it’s been a particularly difficult week to mark the ocassion. On Monday the Department of Justice announced that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the man accused and then acquitted of killing Martin. That led Martin’s father, Tracy, to tell BuzzFeed that he thought the bar for proving hate crimes was too high. “The state tried and failed. The Justice Department didn’t feel there was enough evidence, there’s nothing left to do but continue to fight for kids like Trayvon,” Martin said.
Read more at Colorlines.
Photo: Million Hoodies
From ABC News:
While the public waits for a Justice Department announcement over two separate investigations spurred by the summer shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the department is going to first announce its findings in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
ABC News has learned Martin’s family will soon be notified that the Justice Department will not be filing charges against George Zimmerman, who shot the 17-year-old after a confrontation in 2012. Thursday marks three years to the day since Martin was killed.
Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.
Read more ABC News