On February 26th, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Fl. He was walking back to his father’s house, who he was visiting, after buying a pack of skittles and iced tea. Zimmerman spotted the teen and reported that he saw a “suspicious guy”. He was told “not to get out of his car and follow Martin”, yet Zimmerman did the exact opposite.
Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time that Zimmerman saw him. She reported that Martin noticed that he was being followed and began to run. Zimmerman shot Martin in his chest, killing him. When an officer arrived at the scene, Zimmerman claimed that he shot Trayvon out of self-defense. The death of Trayvon Martin left countless people in distress. There was great outrage over the fatal shooting and people began to protest nationwide. People were enraged that it took a long time for Zimmerman to be arrested and that when he finally was, he was acquitted. People were furious that people are still getting racially profiled, and that it cost a teen his life. People crowded streets and held up signs reading “Justice for Trayvon!” Celebrities took to their social platforms to voice their concerns. In fact, celebrities, such as Kerry Washington & Tracee Ellis Ross posted pictures of them in hoodies, similar to the one Martin wore when shot, that read”Trayvon”.
Martin’s death led people to see the need for reform. Movements and foundations have been created in his memory to prevent issues like these from happening again. Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, started the Trayvon Martin Foundation in memory of their late son. The foundation “is a social justice organization committed to ending senseless gun violence, strengthening families through holistic support, S.T.E.M. education for women and minorities and mentoring.” Martin’s death was one of the many cases that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement dedicated to fighting violence against blacks.
Trayvon Martin will always be remembered and today, on his 23rd birthday, people took to social media to remember the young African-American male who was taken too soon.
Six years ago Trayvon was fatally shot by a racist who saw his Blackness as a threat. The racist walked, and Trayvon's family only has their memories. Injustice is not an occurrence, it is systemic and ongoing. Happy Birthday #TrayvonMartin, we won't ever stop fighting for you.
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) February 5, 2018
Happy 23rd Birthday, Trayvon. We didn't forget. If Mike Brown and Ferguson changed me, it was you who woke me up. We are still fighting. #TrayvonMartin (donate to @TTMFoundation) pic.twitter.com/PvO3XqbKLG
— Felonious Munk (@Felonious_munk) February 5, 2018
— TIDAL (@TIDAL) February 5, 2018
A life taken away too soon!
— The Root (@TheRoot) February 5, 2018
Trayvon Martin’s life will always be remembered and although almost six years have passed since his death, the fight for justice is far from over.