On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, the program coordinator of the neighborhood’s community watch team in an act Zimmerman later called self-defense, according to CNN. USA Today’s 2013 report on Zimmerman’s trial explains that the jury found him not guilty of second degree murder and acquitted him on manslaughter charges as well. Six years later, activists and organizations are remembering the 17-year-old’s death.
“#TrayvonMartin’s life was cut short from systemic racist practices and gun violence,” The Million Hoodie March wrote on Twitter. Also known as Million Hoodies, it’s one of several groups like the Black Youth Project 100 and #BlackLivesMatter that credits Trayvon’s case as a catalyst for their efforts.
Groups like the Women’s March and the NAACP pledged not to forget Trayvon and to say his name on Twitter. Artist, actor, and activist Common shared a photo of a young Trayvon with the message, “Rest In Power.” Phil Goff, President of the Center for Policing Equity, shared his own message. Speaking of Trayvon’s killing, he said, “That tragedy began a long wake up call for many in the country that still continues. May your name never die and your memory continue to inspire. Rest in Everlasting Power.”
Reginald Cunningham (aka Reggie Noble), the creator of the “Pure Black” brand, had a simple message. He shared a tweet with a single sentence written over and over: “Trayvon Martin should still be alive.”
Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin were quiet on the anniversary of their son’s killing. They were more active on social media earlier in February, when the foundation they started in Trayvon’s name organized its sixth Annual Peace Walk and Peace Talk on their son’s birthday. The Orlando Sentinel reports duo will also be featured in the upcoming documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story with executive producer Jay-Z, a six-part miniseries based on the parents’ book about their son’s story.
Trayvon is still remembered by many others, as well. People took to social media to celebrate Trayvon’s birthday earlier this year. In May of 2017, Trayvon was awarded an honorary degree from a Florida university. Trayvon even got a shoutout at New York Fashion Week this year.
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