Today marks the 28th birthday of a young man named Trayvon Martin, who not only in the United States but the rest of the world came to know because he chose to defend himself against his assailant George Zimmerman and his life was taken as a result.
George Zimmerman claimed that he saw Trayvon leaving a store and looked suspicious, so he decided to follow him. After following him, a physical altercation transpired between them, and an unarmed Trayvon took a bullet to his chest and died on the scene. Trayvon died two weeks after his 17th birthday on February 26, 2012. As for Zimmerman, he received a jury acquittal for second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in July 2013.
Trayvon didn’t get to tell his parents goodbye, attend prom, or do anything teenagers enjoyed. His parents, Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, have to live with the burden that their child did not receive justice for what happened to him.
Almost nine years after his untimely death, Trayvon Martin’s legacy in the fight for human and civil rights for Black people in America is everlasting. His name still stands among the victims of gun violence by rogue police officers and overzealous citizens that came after him, such as Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others.
Happy Birthday, King! (RIP)