Nearly a decade after his young life was tragically cut short, the South Florida community honored the memory of Trayvon Martin on what would have been his 27th birthday.
The 10th annual remembrance weekend took place starting with a Peace Walk and Peace Talk Saturday at Ives Estate Park. The event, hosted by the Trayvon Martin Foundation, celebrated the past year while encouraging the community to avoid violence and keep the peace.
Live performances including gospel music and interpretive dancing were all part of the event, as well as vendors and organizations who stand in solidarity with the cause.
In the years that followed Martin’s death, his family has become vocal leaders in the anti-violence movement.
His mother, Sybrina Fulton, has used her activism to help other grieving mothers in the community while narrowly losing a campaign for the Miami-Dade County Commission in 2020. She wrote a book with her ex-husband and Martin’s father, Tracy, after the shooting.
It was an emotional morning for Trayvon Martin's parents as they thanked those in the crowd for their endless support.
“I’m just trying to do my part. and I just encourage you, challenge you to do your part, thank you,” Fulton said.
His father, Tracy Martin, also said it was bittersweet to memorialize his death on the day he would’ve turned 27-years-old.
“We just want you guys to know that we love you all. We appreciate you all,” Tracy Martin said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava offered the Martin family her support.
“We can say truthfully that we will protect, no matter their color, their creed,” Levine Cava said.
George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd was also in attendance. He said he sees the Martin family as his own and that the fight for equality continues.
“The fact that we gotta turn our pain into purpose to make people understand that we are here and we will continue to be here and our skin is not toxic. Please don’t make us another hashtag or another slogan,” Floyd said.
George Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams said conversations about racism, although uncomfortable, still need to happen and that it’s important to keep up the momentum.
“Continue to fight, continue to stand in solidarity, continue showering these families with love,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of families that aren’t household names, but the pain is the same.”
Martin, a Miami native who was a student at Dr. Michael Krop High School, was shot and killed while visiting his father’s Sanford neighborhood on February 26, 2012, following a altercation with neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges over a year later, a decision that led to peaceful protests in South Florida and across the country.
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