On Friday the Internet celebrated the would-be 21st birthday of Trayvon Martin with love and compassion. In February 2012, Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Four years later, Twitter users, celebrities, and Black Lives Matter activists alike posted photos and sentiments remembering his death and celebrating his life.
With a photo of himself, Martin, and their mother, Trayvon’s brother Jahvaris Fulton tweeted an emotional response to the celebratory day.
“I wish I could take you out for your first drink,” Fulton wrote.
My heart is with @SybrinaFulton on Trayvon's birthday. Today I'm carrying the memories of his life she shared with me. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 5, 2016
Trayvon Martin. 21. pic.twitter.com/X0nHyzikRy— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 5, 2016
For Brandon Patterson, senior editorial fellow for Mother Jones, Martin’s death and the verdict in the trial against Zimmerman has continued to affect his work as a writer. As a sophomore at Howard University at the time of the trial, Patterson was already involved in racial activism on the campus, but says the verdict caused him to increase his efforts
Trayvon was a turning point in my consciousness. It changed me. Happy 21 bday, baby boy. Your life mattered, too pic.twitter.com/LB01bIEfl9— Brandon Patterson (@myblackmindd) February 5, 2016
“Trayvon was the point at which… I fully and finally accepted that my reality was just different from other people, and that as a young black man, there was just a different set of rules for me,” Patterson told the Daily Dot. “Trayvon’s death is something that continues to impact me and motivate me.”
Photo via fleshmanpix/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)