At the sixth annual Peace Walk & Peace Talk in Miami Gardens, FL, Jay-Z paid tribute to Trayvon Martin, who was killed in 2012 after being shot by George Zimmerman. In a moving speech, Jay talked about what Trayvon's death meant to him personally and to us all.
"We want to make sure that we stand and support and never forget that Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to the people out here," Jay-Z told the crowd that gathered to honor the late teen, who would have turned 22 this week. "So you guys will never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys went through," he continued, referring to Martin's parents, mother Sybrina Fulton and father Tracy Martin.
Jay-Z wrapped us remarks with a call to action. "His name will sit alongside the greats whom lost their lives to push our culture forward. The Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis," he said. "That’s the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope to push us in a better direction."
Since 2013, Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been standing up for Martin. The two appeared at a 2003 rally in New York City, which took place after Zimmerman was found not guilty. Beyoncé's 2016 VMAs performance included a tribute to Martin in which Beyoncé wore a hoodie, an apparent reference to what Martin was wearing when he was killed.
Jay-Z will continue to honor Martin by producing a six-part documentary series called Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which will premiere on the Paramount Network later this year. An official release date has not yet been set for the series.
"This is an important American story," Jay said in a statement. "We’re honored that Trayvon’s family has entrusted us to share the truth with the world...It’s through these conversations that we can begin to heal."
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