Trayvon Martin, 17, was fatally shot in Sanford, FL by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012. Eight years after her son's death, Sybrina Fulton continues to speak out about the injustices endured by the Black community in the US and to call for action in the fight towards racial justice. In an interview with Good Morning America on July 13 as part of a piece on Black mothers who have experienced the loss of a child as a result of racial profiling, Sybrina, who is currently running for Miami-Dade County commissioner in Florida, explained that she seeks to spread positive change by sharing her heartbreaking experience as a Black mother in the US.
"Being a Black mother in America feels disappointing," she said. "At times it can feel hopeless. You feel helpless because you never know when you're going to be watching a news story in the safety of your home and the next day, you become the story. Not one single day goes by that I don't think about Trayvon . . . I still cry eight years later and I don't apologize for crying. Those are my tears. That was my son." Sybrina went on to explain that, while she cannot change what happened to Trayvon, she works constantly to fight for a brighter future for her oldest son Jahvaris Fulton.
"Don't wait until something happens to your child. Get involved now so something doesn't happen to your child."
Sybrina said she's forced to relive her son's death every time other mothers step forward with news of a child they've lost, but she does not let the pain hold her back. "We live it every day. We carry the pain every single day. We just have good days and bad days . . . We can't explain it to you unless you've lost a child." Despite the pain she's felt since the loss of her son, Sybrina has made a point of supporting families — including George Floyd's — to show that nobody is alone and that families nationwide are experiencing the same pain. "I was OK with being at George Floyd's funeral," she said. "But then once I saw the body, my thoughts were, 'America did this to him. This is a result of the ugliness in America.' And it hurts so bad."
Sybrina encourages people all over the nation to imagine their loved ones in Trayvon's position and use that as inspiration to take concrete progressive action. "Put your loved one in their place and that should open up your heart in order to get involved," she said. "I'm talking about really getting involved. Whether that's registering to vote, voting, attending jury duty, signing petitions, protesting, sending letters to the president and the governor and your local officials, whatever it looks like to you, but you have to do something . . . I was never a person that spoke out . . . But we can no longer be silent. Don't wait until something happens to your child. Get involved now so something doesn't happen to your child." Watch the full interview here.