Its been five years since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, but his parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who have both displayed unwavering strength since the tragedy, say his legacy lives on through them.
Hes not here, his voice isnt here, hes not physically here but hes here through us, Sybrina Fulton told The Huffington Post this month. Were gonna speak for him; hes the voiceless.
Fulton has done just that over the years. Fulton and Trayvons father, Tracy, have relentlessly worked to keep their sons spirit alive while speaking out about the circumstances that led to his death. Now Fulton and Martin have written a book on the enduring life of Trayvon, titledRest in Power: A Parents Story of Love, Injustice and the Birth of a Movement.
Martin was fatally shot on February 26, 2012 by then-neighborhood watch guard George Zimmerman, who claimed he fired his weapon at Martin because he said he believed him to be a suspicious person who posed a threat. Martin, who was walking home from a nearby store, was wearing a hoodie and holding a bag of Skittles in the moments before he died.His killing ignited a wave of intense protests that denounced police brutality and ultimately birthed the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fulton and Martin mourn the loss of their son every day, and some days are more difficult to endure than others which is why they admit it took them five years to put their feelings into words in the form of their latest book. And while there are several books that focus on Trayvon and his death, his parents say they dont adequately capture the details of Trayvons life because, simply, no one ever knew him like they did.
We didnt really want to write the book because its just reliving the story of how our son was taken away from us, Martin said. This was our opportunity to let the world know who Trayvon Martin really was.
Still, through this book and other methods of outreach, they continue raise awareness around issues of policing in America and share messages of empowerment and healing.
We just want people to take something away from the book, take healing away, take awareness away, Fulton said. Take something away that they can hold on to from the book.
But Fulton and Martin say their work certainly doesnt stop there. The two plan to continue to fight for equality, uplift communities of color, identify ways to police the police and help others heal through times of devastation.
You dont want it to be a moment you want it to be a movement, Martin said. You want it to go from a movement to making progress. You want it to go from making progress to making change and thats what were all about, making change.
The Huffington Post is a proud media partner of Chicago Humanities Festivals two nights of conversation withSybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, in collaboration with theDuSable Museum of African American Historyand theChicago Urban League.For more information about how to attend, clickherefor the February 16th event andherefor the February 17th event.