5 Years After His Death, Trayvon Martin's Parents Speak Out

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin speaking to Mary Mitchell about their new book.
Five years after the death of their son, Trayvon Martin's parents talk about their pain and why they won't stop talking about their child.

Five years ago, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin mourned the loss of their 17-year-old son.

"We're not supposed to bury our kids," Fulton said.

A lot has happened since that 2012 shooting in Sanford, Florida. A jury acquitted George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon. The Black Lives Matter movement was born. And demonstrators have periodically flooded the streets of American cities to, in their words, decry violence against black people.

At least one constant has remained, though. Fulton and Tracy Martin are still angry. 

"On an honest level, I can't hate because I'm not supposed to," Fulton said. "But don't think for one second there is not anger in my heart and that anger I carry around every day. ... Nobody is going to tell me that it's been five years and you need to forgive. I'm going to do it in my own time."

Without referencing him specifically, Fulton told a crowd at Chicago's DuSable Museum of African American History she hasn't forgiven Zimmerman or the state of Florida and that she doesn't plan to anytime soon.

Fulton and Tracy Martin sat down with the Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell to discuss the new book the two co-wrote, "Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin." It tells the story of Trayvon Martin and the aftermath of his death beyond what might have been reported in the media.

One anecdote deals specifically with Fulton's relationship with Tracy Martin.

"People didn't know when we first came out that that was my ex-husband," Fulton said referring to Martin.

"Once family, always family, though," Martin said.

Fulton and Martin reiterated that this book goes beyond their personal grief and is intended to reach others in similar situations. Fulton says the book speaks to parents who experience gun violence, which on some level is likely familiar to many Chicagoans. As Newsy has reported, 2016 was a historically violent year for the Windy City — 4,367 were shot and 762 people were killed.

"I think the bigger picture is about all the other Trayvon Martins," Fulton said. "We'll never come to terms with losing our son. ... But at the same time, I know it's so much bigger than Trayvon."