On the sixth anniversary of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter released the first trailer to his co-produced documentary series about the slain teen.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is inspired by the biographical story of young Martin’s life and legacy, written and retold through the eyes of his parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
“It first brings Trayvon back to life as the full, three-dimensional, complex kid he was, through his parents’ eyes,” said editor Christopher Jackson with Random House’s One World, “and then to the dark and confusing days following his death, which slowly transform into the blossoming of a powerful, historic movement for change and healing that we’re still watching unfold five years later. Everyone who’s been reading the manuscript is in tears by the second chapter.”
It will also be taking from Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.
According to Rolling Stone, the documentary is set to examine the tragedy of Martin’s death, but also the Black Lives Matter movement which continues to propel conversations around “race, politics, power, money, and the criminal justice system.”
Jay-Z executive produced the series alongside co-producers Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, as well as parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and Chachi Senior, Michael Gasparro, and Nick Sandow.
George Zimmerman Threatened Jay Z Over Docu-Series
On February 26, 2012, Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was 28 at the time. Zimmerman admitted killing Martin, but said he was acting in self-defense. Zimmerman was eventually acquitted off all charges.
The case, nonetheless, is still gaining traction today and recently rapper Jay-Z spoke at the Trayvon Martin Peace Walk & Peace Talk, standing in support along with Trayvon’s parents.
“It’s a beautiful thing that Sybrina and Tracy are doing with their strength,” he began. “Thank you, for being here. It’s the support you guys are showing, and the strength that Tracy, Sybrina and the family are showing. We want to make sure we stand in support and never forget.”
He continued: “Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to all the people out here. So you guys will never have to go through the pain and the hurt that these guys went through. His name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their life to push our culture forward. The Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis. That’s the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope, and push us in a better direction.”
The rapper who is known to produce projects that shed light on the plight of Black men and boys, said he plans to release a documentary series based on Martin’s life and death.
When he heard about the docuseries, Zimmerman took to social media to threaten the mogul claiming that he would “beat Jay-Z” and feed him to “an alligator.” The threat followed claims that executive producer Michael Gasparro was harassing Zimmerman’s family for footage to include in the film. Zimmerman also posted, “I know how to handle people who f–k with me, I have since February 2012.”
Trayvon Honored On His 23rd Birthday
Feb. 5, 2018 would have been Trayvon Martin‘s 23rd birthday.
Six years ago, the unarmed 17-year-old was tragically gunned down by neighborhood watch George Zimmerman. His murder set off a wave of national protests against racial bias and an unjust criminal justice system, and inspired the early workings of Black Lives Matter.
On his birthday, Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, took to Twitter to pay tribute to her fallen son, whose life inspired a new generation to rise up against racial injustice.
“Happy Heavenly ’23’ Birthday Trayvon you will forever be my Son/Sun !!” tweeted Fulton, who has turned her pain into passionate advocacy as a public advocate for the movement.
The Friday prior, Fulton spoke to a room full of grieving mothers who, too, lost their children to violence. During the event held in Fort Myers, Florida, Fulton opened up about still missing her son and being thrusted into a national spotlight she was not prepared for.
“I certainly told God he picked the wrong mother and the wrong family,” Fulton said at the Dunbar Neighborhood Watch’s eighth annual Community Prayer Service, according to the News-Press. “It’s not something that I wanted to do.”
Much like the countless mothers before and after her, Fulton says, “I’m part of that unfortunate club.”
Despite his death, Fulton says Trayvon’s legacy was to expose the ugly reality that racism in America is alive and well. Still, that doesn’t make the grieving process any less difficult.
“The worst day of my life was seeing my 17-year-old son in church in a casket dressed in all white,” Fulton said. “It never ends for us moms. We have to live with this for the rest of our lives,” adding, “I still cry. I just don’t come out on my bad days. That was my son, my baby. So when my spirit is not right, I don’t come out.
“It is an ongoing process. The more I said I was strong, the more I became strong,” she said.
“This is not something that I was groomed and polished for. I decided to be obedient to what (God) was showing me and what he wanted me to do. We’ve got to show them a better way.”