Sybrina Fulton Doesn’t Celebrate The Anniversary Of Trayvon Martin’s Death
It’s difficult to believe that three years have passed since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. While his death certainly placed the spotlight on our imperfect justice system, it also served as a sad reminder that we still have such a long way to go as a nation. The teen’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, recently sat down with New York magazine for a candid Q&A session. During the chat, she explained that she refuses to celebrate the anniversary of Martin’s death and revealed that she encourages parents in similar situations not to either.
On the senseless killing of Black men, women and children:
It hurts every time I see another tragedy in the news. I feel for those families, I can understand that mother’s cry, and that father’s yelling. I can understand those things because I’ve been through it, and I’m still going through it years later. The pain is so fresh, it’s like it never goes away. It’s better at some times, but it never goes away.
On refusing to celebrate the day Trayvon died:
We celebrate the day Trayvon was born, which was February 5 — we don’t mark the day he was murdered, and we encourage other parents to do the same. Because Trayvon was walking home when he was killed, we hold a peace walk. We want our young people and our community to know that they have a right to walk in peace without being followed, chased, pursued, profiled, or murdered.
On not being ready to forgive George Zimmerman:
I’m very honest about my feelings and I have not gotten there. I think the wounds to me are too fresh, and everybody forgives in their own time. I’m just not there. I will never forget, and I have not forgiven. It’s a process. I carry it every day and I’m just not there.
On feeling like the government is not doing enough to address violence against Black people:
It just does not feel like the scale of justice is in our favor at all. A lot of times [the government] concentrates so much on other countries, but right here in our own country, we have not only Whites murdering our young African-American men and women, but also Black-on-Black crime. That should be a major focus as well.
Speaking of lives that were tragically snuffed out by senseless acts of violence, Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden recently penned a touching essay honoring her son. An excerpt from the piece, which was featured in Ebony magazine, reads:
Mike-Mike was a young man coming into his own. When most people turn 18, they think they’re adults — “Hey, I can make my own decisions!” As his mother, I can tell you he wasn’t there yet, but I’m proud to say he was headed that way until he was taken from us. My son was on his journey of transitioning from a boy to a man.
I want the world to be inspired by the impact of Mike-Mike’s death, which has awakened this country not only to the disparities in our justice system and communities, but also the need for us to pay attention to the younger generation. Let our kids know that it doesn’t matter where they come from, or how much money they have, or who raised them. Tell them, “You’re still good enough. You matter! You can be a mayor, a lawyer, a scientist or a teacher; you can even be a police officer, but be a good, decent and fair one.” Bottom line, our kids can be anything they dream of, but it takes encouragement, and that starts at home. I’m proud to say I always instilled positivity in Mike-Mike and my other kids. I hope this moment reminds us to do that.
Please honor my child’s memory by encouraging our young people, and building them up so that everything we’re trying to do with the protests and marches is not in vain.
People will ask me how all this will “end.” I don’t know because I’m still very much in this fight and in this moment. The public support gives me strength, and I’m getting stronger by the day. My son is a legend. People become legends because they make history, and that’s what he did. It brought the hidden, painful truths of this country to light for a new generation, and people across the world will be better for it.