APB Speaker Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin, Commemorates 8th Anniversary of BLM
20 Jul 2021
For Floridian and APB speaker Sybrina Fulton, life was good. In fact, she describes it as mostly happy and joyful. She worked for the Miami, Florida Housing Department while raising two sons with her ex. She was a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens. And then came Feb. 26, 2012. That’s the day her son, Trayvon Martin, was fatally shot and sparked a movement that changed the world—Black Lives Matter (BLM).
“My son's name became a lightning rod for this country,” she writes in a recent opinion piece for USA Today, marking the eight-year anniversary of BLM. “But for me, he was my baby boy. I had planned to spend many more years watching him grow up, if his life hadn't been cut short.”
Martin was walking to his dad’s girlfriend’s home when he was spotted by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman believed Martin was acting suspiciously. The two got into an altercation and Martin—who was unarmed—was killed. He was 17. (Zimmerman was eventually acquitted of second-degree murder in 2013.)
The shooting prompted international attention and massive protests on the street. It turned Fulton into an activist, who today is almost as well-known as her son. Fulton became an inspiring spokesperson for parents and concerned citizens across the country. She published a book co-authored with Tracy Martin, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin. It shares the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement that awoke a nation’s conscience. She even ran for a seat on the county commission in 2020.
In her USA Today article, Fulton writes about the feelings at the time of her son’s death and why we need BLM now more than ever.
“#BlackLivesMatter was more than the signatory hashtag that became a love letter to Black folks” Fulton writes. “It reminded us that despite the oppressive systems we face and the repeated injustices we are dealt through criminal legal systems, we still matter. This affirmation challenged millions of people all around the world to stand up and lift not only Trayvon’s name, but also say the names of so many who have been killed.”