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About the Book
Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement.
On a February evening in 2012, in a small town in central Florida, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking home with candy and a can of juice in hand and talking on the phone with a friend when a fatal encounter with a gun-wielding neighborhood watchman ended his young life. The watchman was briefly detained by the police and released. Trayvon s father a truck driver named Tracy tried to get answers from the police but was shut down and ignored. Trayvon s mother, a civil servant for the city of Miami, was paralyzed by the news of her son s death and lost in mourning, unable to leave her room for days. But in a matter of weeks, their son’s name would be spoken by President Obama, honored by professional athletes, and passionately discussed all over traditional and social media. And at the head of a growing nationwide campaign for justice were Trayvon s parents, who driven by their intense love for their lost son discovered their voices, gathered allies, and launched a movement that would change the country.
Five years after his tragic death, Travyon Martin s name is still evoked every day. He has become a symbol of social justice activism, as has his hauntingly familiar image: the photo of a child still in the process of becoming a young man, wearing a hoodie and gazing silently at the camera. But who was Trayvon Martin, before he became, in death, an icon? And how did one black child s death on a dark, rainy street in a small Florida town become the match that lit a civil rights crusade?
Rest in Power by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin tells the heartbreaking story of their 17 year old, murdered son. I think everyone in the world has heard about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. I remember hearing about hit right after it happened. The international media covered it though I didn’t get to know about the facts about the case but I definitely knew the name Trayvon Martin.
The book begins with background stories on Sybrina and Tracy. We get to learn about how they met all the way to Trayvon’s birth. Through the pages, we also get to learn about the events that took place on that day when the young man’s life was violently ended just a few meters from his house. The story is narrated is through the two POV’s and this made it even tougher to read because as a reader, I experienced the two narrator’s grief. I can’t even imagine just how much pain his parents went through. I learned about how they found out about their son’s death and how their worlds were shattered in one evening.
One thing that struck as being odd is how the police broke the news to Tracy. Trayvon’s dad had filed a missing person’s report after Trayvon failed to come back home after going to the store. The police then came over and showed him a photo of his son lying dead on the grass and asked him to make identification. I can’t even imagine what he went through at that moment. This just felt wrong. I don’t know the procedures followed there but that must have been devastating. I was also angered by the focus on the victim during the investigation. A young man is killed and the investigation starts with a background check to establish whether he has a criminal past? Yes, the victim and not the shooter.Why? The character assassination was devastating to his parents. There were a lot of heartbreaking incidents throughout the book.
Tracy, the lawyer and Sybrina during the Million Hoodie march.
The marches, protests, media campaigns following the death of Trayvon are covered through the chapters. Through it all, we get to learn about his parents fight for justice even as they went through the devastation of having lost their son. The book gives detailed insight into the trial in the final chapters. The part that stood out the most for me was about Rachel’s testimony. She was Trayvon’s friend who was the last person that he spoke to before he died. He was actually on the phone with her when he got killed. I felt sorry for Rachel especially when I went online and read the comments that people made about her after the trial.
There is a lot that I can say about this book but I think it would be better if you read it yourself. I definitely recommend Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin to everyone.
Rest in Power, told through the compelling alternating narratives of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, answers, for the first time, questions from the most intimate of sources. It is the story of the beautiful and complex child they lost, the cruel unresponsiveness of the police and the hostility of the legal system, and the inspiring journey they took from grief and pain to power, and from tragedy and senselessness to meaning.