By: Isaiah Robinson
February 26 marked the eight-year anniversary of the death of a young black king whose life was stolen from him.
At the age of 17, Trayvon Martin was killed at the hands of the, now infamous, neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.
It all started when Trayvon was walking home from a convenient store with an iced tea and a pack of Skittles candy in his hands when Zimmerman, a racist, called 911 to report a “suspicious person” in the neighborhood. Zimmerman was told not to approach the person, but he disregarded the instructions and confronted Trayvon, which led to an altercation and Zimmerman pulling out his gun. Zimmerman shot Trayvon at point-blank range, claiming self-defense.
Black America wasn’t buying it.
The controversial shooting gained national attention, garnering 1.3 million signatures on Change.org by Trayvon’s parents, calling for the arrest of Zimmerman in March 2012. The same month, President Barack Obama spoke out publicly on the controversy, saying the incident required national “soul-searching.”
Despite multiple rallies, protests and a call to action for justice to be served, Zimmerman was found not guilty in July 2013.
Trayvon’s senseless killing spurred a movement and gave rise to the “#BlackLivesMatter” movement, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people. The Trayvon Martin Foundation, a social justice organization, was also founded.
Rest in power Trayvon. You should be 25 and full of life. Your name will never be forgotten.