Please welcome Sybrina Fultonand Tracy Martin.
(applause and cheering)
Thank you so much...for being on the show.
Uh, I got to tell you.
I read this book, and, like,
every single piece of this book
is somethingyou want to remember.
Every line, every paragraph.
It is a powerful,powerful story,
but a lot of peoplemay not realize this.
For all intents and purposes,
the Black Lives Matter movementwas born
through the horrible tragedyof the death of your son.
When you look back at that,and when you write this book,
it almost feels likeyou're reminding people,
"Don't forget. He was morethan just the politics.
He was a boy."
-Is that whatyou were trying to do? -Correct.
I think, for the most part, um,we wanted to, um,
have people visualizewho Trayvon was.
We say it in the book thatwe didn't get a chance to...
In the court system,we didn't have a chance
to actually bea character witness for him,
so, the book goes in detail
about just who he wasto Sybrina,
who he was to myself,who he was to our family.
And the book isa powerful book.
It just goes...
It goes deeperthan just being a news story.
It goes... It comesfrom a parent's point of view.
when you see a story,a story of Trayvon Martin...
I mean, I rememberwhen it was unfolding.
I was shocked at how quicklythe news moves on.
I was shocked at how quicklyit becomes a talking point,
as opposed to a person.
Does it ever feel like
it has moved on for you?
Well, no, it doesn't.
Even though the calendar saysthat it's been five years
since Trayvon was shotand killed,
it doesn't feel likefive years in my heart.
It feels likeit recently happened.
And so, um,it's not a story for us.
It's a tragedythat happened in our lives,
-so we are livingthis tragic story... -Yeah.
...much like a lotof the other parents
who are going through, um,kids...
that lost their kidthrough senseless gun violence.
I just wanted to read, um...
It was... I mean, like I say,there were so many bits
that hit me here,but this passage...
"We tell the storyin the hope
"that'll continue the calling
"that Trayvon left for usto answer,
"and that it might shine a pathfor others
"who have lost or will losechildren to senseless violence.
"We tell it in the hopefor healing,
"for bridging the dividethat separates America
"between races and classes,
"between citizensand the police.
"Most of all,we tell it for Trayvon,
"whose young souland lively spirit guide us
every day in everything we do."
I spent so long just lookingat this paragraph
over and over againwhen you said,
"We tell it in the hopeof healing
"and bridging the dividethat separates America
between races and classes."
How are you still ableto feel that
when most peoplein this situation
would only be ableto feel rage?
Um, one of the thingsthat we understood early on
was that this happenedto Trayvon,
but it's so much biggerthan Trayvon.
We just feel like
anybody's teenagercould be Trayvon Martin.
And, so, we just can't make it,
and keep our focusjust on Trayvon.
And so the moving-forward part,the healing part,
is about other children.
We certainly know that Trayvonis not gonna come back
to this Earth.
You know, we know thathe's resting in peace in Heaven.
-Hence the name: Rest in Power. -Mm-hmm.
But at the same time, we feellike we have to do our part
to help other children.
You... you talk about thatin the book,
and before the show, you know,some members of the audience
were talkingabout how to mobilize
in the face of adver...adversity,
how to start a movementthat you may not have any clue
on how to start.
You were essentiallyin that position.
How do you go from being parentsto really being the fuel
that starts one ofthe most powerful movements
America has ever seen?
I think it starts from...from our upbringing.
I think it starts with the lovethat we have for our child,
the love that we havefor our children,
and-and the faiththat we have in God.
Uh, first and foremost,if we weren't as rounded...
well-rounded in our faith,
we could have easilyjust fallen off the edge.
But when you... any timeyou're dealing with grief,
you definitely have emotions,and your emotions can take you
to places thatyou don't want to go.
Um, but just out of the loveand the respect for our child,
um, and we cho... we choseto take the high road,
so to speak, in his death.
And-and we knowthat this is more...
this is bigger than Trayvon,this is about many other kids
that are across this country,and while we're here,
we're gonna dowhat is in our power
to stop other familiesfrom losing their children
to the same violence.
When you experiencewhat you had to experience
with Trayvon's life, and death,
and... when you sat therefor the verdict,
is there a momentwhere you feel like...
the whole system is against you?
We actually leftthe courtroom, um,
before the verdict was read.
Um, we leftand we headed back to Florida,
and we were not in the courtroomduring the time
that they read the verdict.
at some point in time, we hadfaith in the justice system.
I will say that.
I don't knowif it was because we were naive,
or we just wanted the outcomethat we wanted.
You know, uh,which was to hold the person
who shot and killed Trayvonaccountable for what he did.
You know?But, um, at the same time
we had faithin the justice system.
We do not have faithin the justice system now.
And we feel likethe justice system has failed
And that's-that's...another thing is,
a lot of people...maybe not forget,
but it feels like people putthe face and the name,
but they forget just the boy.
Just the boyon the other side of the story.
Is it true that Trayvonsaved your life?
Yes. Um, he was aboutnine years old at the time,
and we go into detailabout it in the book.
Um, he was a...he was an advocate...
-I mean, he wasa loyal football player, -Yeah.
and, um-- it's funny,'cause we'd go to the park,
and he'd stay on the park from7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at night.
And when we got ready to leaveafter his game,
I asked himdid he want something to eat,
and he just wanted to go home.
And so, uh, we went home,and as soon as we got home
he decided that he was hungry,
and so I decided to cook ussomething to eat.
Both of us was tired.
Um, we...I put the grease on the stove.
I decided to do some chickenand fries, something quick.
And both of us fell asleep.
And I woke up abouttwo or three hours later,
uh, went in the kitchenand the stove was on fire,
the cabinets was on fire.
And I just tried to smother
the pot of grease, uh,with a towel.
And what it did, it drugthe entire pot of grease down,
uh, on my legs.
And so I kind of blacked outfrom the, from the burns,
and I woke up calling, you know,calling his name.
And he ended up waking up,and at nine years old,
he drug me out of the house,
uh, went back into the house,
and-and he retrieved the phoneand called 911.
And so in the bookI go into detail
as far as... it hurt,
for knowing that he savedmy life,
for me not to be able to bethere February 26th
to save his life.
And so, um, he's my hero.
And he's-he's everything to me,and-and so, uh,
we just vow to continueour fight for him,
and never give up.
I'm gonna read, um...
one last piece.
I, honestly, could readalmost all of this,
it's so beautiful.
But it's towardsthe end of the book,
and you say, um...
"So lastly, I just want to tellyou about the foundation
"that we have createdin Trayvon's name,
"because the verdictis not going to define
"who Trayvon Martin was.
"We will define his legacy.
"We will define who he is
and what he was all about."
It seems easy to understand,
but what does that phrase,
what does that passagemean to you?
It means that we did not wantthe social media,
we didn't want the news,
we didn't want other attorneys
who did not know Trayvonto tell who Trayvon was.
We wanted to be able,as parents,
as the spokespersonsfor Trayvon Martin,
we want to be able to tellwho he was,
and what we will do next
in order to further his legacy,
and-and to further the powerin his name.
just like withany other teenager,
that he was not perfect.
We never proclaimedhim to be perfect.
But at the same time,he was ours.
He belonged to us.
And we feel like our life
was interrupted by this tragedy.
And so we have vowed
to make sure that we doeverything in our power
to make surethat his name lives on,
and that we makepositive change.
I cannot thank you enoughfor being here.
The book is an inspiration.
Trayvon's life and deathwill be an inspiration.
And I thank you so muchfor your time.
-Thank you for writing this.-Thank you. -Thank you.
Rest in Power will be available tomorrow.
Do yourself a favorand get it.
Sybrina Fulton andTracy Martin, everybody.