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Jay-Z Honors Trayvon Martin at Annual Peace Walk: ‘His Name Serves as a Beacon of Light’

Jay-Z, Trayvon Martin, Peace Walk, Miami
Jay-Z leaves the Time Warner building before attending Roc Nation event at World Trade Center in New York City on January 27, 2018. BlayzenPhotos / BACKGRID

Jay-Z attended the sixth annual Trayvon Martin Peace Walk in Miami, Florida, where he honored the late teenager with an empowering speech.

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“It’s very important, the support you guys are showing and the strength that Sabrina and Tracy and the family are showing,” the “Family Feud” rapper said, referring to Martin’s parents, at the rally on Saturday, February 10. “And we want to make sure we stand in support and we never forget that Trayvon served as a beacon of light to all the people out there, so you guys would never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys went through.”

“His name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their life to push our culture forward,” the entrepreneur, 48, continued. “The Martin Luther Kings, the Ghandis, 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.”

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In February 2012, 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed, was shot and killed in his gated community in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, who claimed he opened fire on the teenager in self-defense.  However, a 911 call between Zimmerman and a dispatcher suggested there was no confrontation, and outrage ensued, sparking a movement called “Justice for Trayvon.”

The neighborhood watch volunteer was later charged with second degree murder, but in July 2013, a jury acquitted Zimmerman.

President Barack Obama said at the time, “This is a tragedy … When I think about this, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and everybody pulls together – federal, state and local – to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.” Other stars who spoke out after Martin’s death included Vivica Fox, La La Anthony, Common, Diddy, Taraji P. Henson, among many others.

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Saturday’s rally is not the only time Jay-Z has drawn awareness to this tragedy: He is also producing Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, a documentary set to air on the Paramount Network. An air date has not yet been announced.

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