Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (Book Review)

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Rest in Power cover taken by Black & Bookish
I knew the justice system wasn’t color-blind.
— Tracy Martin, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin

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Trayvon Marin was killed in his father's Sanford neighborhood on February 26, 2012. His death made national news and quickly set in motion a rally cry for change. Many people saw how easy it was for Trayvon to have been them, such as writer Mychal Denzel Smith. He notes in his book that Trayvon's death affected him deeply. Activist around the world, like Patrisse Cullors, took Martin's death as need to do more. 

Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin a joint memoir by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. It recounts the night of Trayvon's murder by a local neighborhood watch captain and into the murder trial that follows. The book is separated into sections devoted to each parent's perspective. One at a time, they remember their son and the events that took him away.  


 Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin ( Google Images )

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (Google Images)

Because Trayvon's death was such a high profile case, you may already feel like you know the ends and outs of the trial. What this book offers is the personal accounts of the family as they mourned their son. While Syrbina's chapters are rich sorrow, Tracy's are more subdued. Tracy's recounted the logistics of the trial or how he spoke over and over with the police. Sybrina spoke to coping with the loss of her son, and even talked about Trayvon as a child. They both talk about how the community of Sanford rallied behind them, citing the racism deep within the small town's past. 

I didn't follow the trial because I felt it made Trayvon stand trial for his own death- something his parents and many other people spoke about. I didn't expect the book to be so trial heavy but I thought that is was done well. I also expected there to be more talk about the activism once the trial was over, much more than was brought up in the book.

In the end, here are some of the positive outcomes that came out of the activism surrounding Trayvon's death:

  • Black Lives Matter was created by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, three Black women activist. Their movement is a direct response to the Trayvon case and is now a global entity. They have inspired Black libration protest all over the world. 
  • The Trayvon Martin Foundation which works to end gun violence through community mentoring and STEM based education. 
    • Circle of Mother's Retreat
    • Circle of Fathers Groups

The death of child is unbearable. This book takes that pain and shows you that you can fight with it. I recommend this title knowing that you would have to take in some of that pain. Trayvon Martin's death also marked a change in how we respond to gun violence. It has inspired many to actively stand on the side of peace, and a strong fight for justice in the name of innocent young, Black men. You can't deny that teens today are taking to the streets and calling for change.




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About the Author

Black & Bookish is the brainchild of Antoinette Scully, educator and lover of all things bookish. She is on a quest to fill your bookshelves with beloved authors of the African Diaspora. When she's not hanging out on line, she's living it up as the mother of two rambunctious girls and wife of a local filmmaker.