The official trailer has been released for the docuseries Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.
The docuseries, produced by Jay Z, has been in the works for about a year. The Trayvon Martin Story comes after the Jay Z-produced Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which debuted on Spike. This new docu-series will air on Paramount Network, the recently-rebranded Spike.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is based on the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin. The six-part non-scripted documentary series will be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade that spurred the impactful worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.
Executive producers for the series include Shawn Carter, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Chachi Senior, Michael Gasparro, Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason and Nick Sandow. Furst and Nason will serve as co-directors on the project.
Trayvon Martin’s parents were the recipients of a major honor on behalf of their late son. Florida Memorial University awarded the slain teen with a posthumous Bachelor’s Degree during the school’s annual commencement ceremony last Saturday (May 13).
“To say that we’re thankful is an understatement,” said Martin’s father, Tracy. “I think this shows what this community, how they feel, how they believe in our family, believe in our foundation, how we’ve worked together, it was a heartfelt moment when they called Trayvon’s name to accept the degree for him, it was very touching. This was a day that we planned for as parents, we just wish that we would have watched him walk across the stage.”
Martin received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation, with a concentration in flight education, honoring his dream of becoming a pilot. Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, graduated from FMU two years after he was born. “In 1997 I graduated from FMU with a Bachelors degree in English with a minor in Mass Communications,” she wrote on Instagram earlier int he month. “It’s now 20 years later & now my son #TrayvonMartin will receive his Bachelors in Aviation, something he loved.”
Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and the Weinstein Company are partnering on an ambitious series of film and television projects about Trayvon Martin. The indie label and the rap icon won a heated bidding war for the rights to two books — “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.” The 2012 shooting of the 17 year-old Martin sparked a national debate about racial profiling and inequities of the criminal justice system that brought about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The African-American high school student was killed by George Zimmerman, 28, who was a member of the neighborhood watch in his Florida community. He claimed he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self defense after the two became involved in a physical altercation. Zimmerman’s acquittal on a second-degree murder charge inspired protests around the country.
“Suspicion Nation” is by Lisa Bloom and recounts her experience covering the trial for NBC. She looks at the mistakes made by prosecutors that caused them to lose what she describes as a “winnable case.” “Rest in Power” is by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. It tells a more personal story, looking at Martin’s childhood and the aftermath of his death.
The plan is to make a six-part docu-series with Jay Z producing as part of a first-look deal he signed with the studio last September. The indie studio will also develop a narrative feature film. The Weinstein Company earned critical raves for “Fruitvale Station,” another true story, about the death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man who was killed in 2009 by a BART police officer.
According to blackenterprise.com, Jahvaris Fulton, the older brother of slain Sanford, Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, recently graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology.
Wilson, a founder of 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, also counts Fulton as a member who helped to encourage at-risk in Miami-Dade schools to stay in school.
Recently, Jahvaris and Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show to highlight the wide breadth of miscommunication that exists between persons of color and white America. “It’s not happening to them, so they don’t quite get it,” she told Cooper in an interview that aired Friday. “They don’t quite understand. They think that it’s a small group of African Americans that’s complaining: ‘Oh, what are they complaining about now?’”
This week, however, was all about celebrating Jahvaris’ success in higher academia. The exciting news was confirmed via Twitter, with many attendees tweeting their congrats.
If anyone understands the pain that Jordan Davis’ parents are feeling at this moment, it’s Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. The parents of Trayvon Martin offered their support to Lucia McBath and Ron Davis this weekend, who heard Michael Dunn’s verdict on the eve of what would have been their son’s 19th birthday. In a statement, Sybrina and Tracy said that this case is “yet another reminder that in Florida, racial profiling and stereotypes” may serve as the basis for illegitimate fear “and the shooting and killing of young teenagers.”
Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer, fired 10 rounds at a SUV carrying four teens in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot after an altercation over loud rap music. On Saturday, a jury found him guiltyon three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of shooting a deadly missile into a vehicle. However, the 12 jurors could not reach a decision on the top count of first-degree murder — meaning he was not convicted for three of the 10 shots that hit 17-year-old Davis and ultimately cost his life.
Although the jury did not convict her son’s killer of premeditated murder, Lucia McBath still expressed gratitude for the verdict. “We are so grateful for the truth,” she said. “We are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all.” “[Dunn] is going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son,” father Ron Davis said at the post-trial press conference, “it was not just another day at the office.”
Jamie Foxx opened up his home last weekend and held a special fundraising event in honor of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were in attendance and they were joined by several celebrity guests including Harry Belafonte, Russell Simmons and Tyrese, among others. According to Extra, Belafonte delivered a speech at the event and Simmons presented Martin’s parents with a six-figure check addressed to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
The foundation was launched in honor of the late teen, who was shot to death by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012. The event later led to a racially-charged case in which Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted of all charges in the death of 17-year-old Martin. According to the foundation’s website, the purpose of the non-profit organization is to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims and to provide support and advocacy for those families in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Foxx, who has an 18-year-old daughter, has been vocal in expressing his support for Martin’s family in the past and has vowed to keep Martin’s memory alive. “When I first saw this story, I couldn’t get over it,” Foxx said at a community event earlier this year. “I’m absolutely committed to all you out there who have young kids. I hope you never have to go through anything like this.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin has joined an effort by members of Congress to focus more attention on issues disproportionately affecting black men and boys. Martin was appearing Wednesday before a forum convened by black lawmakers to discuss high unemployment, incarceration, racial profiling and other challenges faced by black men and boys.
Martin was scheduled to give opening remarks in an informal hearing before the Congressional Black Men and Boys Caucus. Congressional caucuses such as this one are made up of members of the House who share interest in a given issue and want to focus attention on it while suggesting possible legislative responses. Caucuses range from the party of the Democrats and Republicans to special group caucuses such as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Martin’s appearance comes a few days after President Barack Obama made remarks identifying himself with the plight of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot and killed last year during a confrontation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in dozens of cities today to mourn Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot to death in a confrontation with a neighborhood watch volunteer early last year, and to add their voices to a debate on race that his death has set off. The gatherings began around noon EST at federal buildings across the country. They came a week after George Zimmerman was acquitted by a court in Florida of Mr. Martin’s killing; days after angry protests erupted in the wake of that verdict; and hours after President Obama said, in a heartfelt address, that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
Mr. Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, addressing dozens of people outside the federal courthouse in Miami, said, “I vowed to Trayvon when he was laying in his casket that I would use every ounce of energy in my body to seek justice for him.
“I will continue to fight for Trayvon until the day I die,” he added. “Not only will I be fighting for Trayvon, I will be fighting for your child as well.” At a rally in New York, over cries of “We’re all Trayvon Martin,” the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the organizers of the gatherings, told a crowd of hundreds that Mr. Martin’s death should prompt a movement. Mr. Sharpton said that he wanted to ensure an aggressive federal investigation of Mr. Zimmerman and fight against Florida’s broad self-defense laws. “Last Saturday we cried,” he said, “but this Saturday we march.”
Ira Acree spent two hours passing out fliers in front of the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago, hoping to spread the word about a “Justice for Trayvon” vigil at noon Saturday — one of at least 100 planned in cities across the nation. On the way back to his car, Acree, a pastor, spotted a television in the lobby of the parking garage. A crowd had gathered in front, as if “watching the football game,” Acree said. President Obama was speaking.
In his first comments since a six-woman jury acquitted George Zimmerman of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Obama spoke frankly and reflectively, relating his experiences with race and racial profiling. “Trayvon Martin could have been me,” the President said. Obama’s earnest words moved Acree almost to tears. “I just think that the president’s words may help whites across the nation at least understand us,” Acree said. “And be a little bit more emphathetic toward our actions tomorrow.” Acree chairs the board of a social justice group in Chicago called the Leader’s Network, which is helping organize Saturday’s vigil.
The 100-city “Justice for Trayvon” vigils, which the Rev. Al Sharpton announced Tuesday on the steps of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., will be staged mostly at federal court buildings across the country. In California, rallies are scheduled in Los Angeles, Oakland, Palmdale, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco and the Monterey County city of Seaside. Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Martin’s brother, Jahvaris, will attend a rally in New York City, along with Sharpton. Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, is attending a vigil in Miami.
Jahvaris Fulton has a great opportunity on his hands. The older brother of Trayvon Martin is currently serving as a congressional intern for Florida Representative Frederica Wilson. Her office confirmed the news to NBC. Fulton, according to his Twitter page, attends Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Wilson’s office also said that Fulton is a part of the 5000 Roll Models of Excellence Project. The project, founded by Wilson 20 years ago, is a drop out prevention and mentoring program that serves the needs of at-risk boys in Miami-Dade schools. Good look to the young Mr. Fulton. It would be great if both he and Rachel Jeantel ended up working in law enforcement, hopefully fighting the injustices that were so evident in his brother’s case.