Trayvon Martin would have turned 22 on Sunday. It’s hard to believe five years have passed since the unarmed Florida teen was shot to death while walking home by a disturbed vigilante neighbor named George Zimmerman.
Outrage following Martin’s 2012 death and Zimmerman’s acquittal the following year led to the founding of the Black Lives Movement, which has since denounced and protested the senseless deaths of dozens of African Americans across the U.S., many of whom—like Martin—never received justice.
Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who have both sought to address their loss by helping parents of other gun violence victims, published a new book this week about their son, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin. The two spent the week promoting the book across the country to honor Trayvon’s short life and highlight how little has changed since then in terms of injustice and inequality.
“The calendar says five years, but it seems like just a few months,” Sybrina Fulton told the Associated Press. “I know that we're still healing."
Trayvon Martin's older brother Jahvaris Fulton, who also has been active on the National Community Engagement Tour, said of the book, "Rest in Power is the story of my brother told in the voices of the people who knew him best—our parents. It’s the story about a tragic death and a grievous injustice. But it’s also about a life that endures.”
Tracy Martin noted that comments by former President Barack Obama, who once acknowledged, “It could’ve been me,” had helped, but he hopes that Donald Trump and his administration will take a more compassionate approach to gun violence and justice in African American communities.
It meant a great deal for the most influential and most admired president that this country has ever seen mention our son. This new administration…you would hope they would have compassion for families who are losing children to gun violence.
One can hope, but given Trump’s inflammatory comments about violence in cities like Chicago, his support for easing already lax gun laws, and his racism towards African Americans, Latinx, immigrants, refugees and others, that’s not likely. That’s why the timing of Rest in Power’s release couldn’t be more appropriate.