Sybrina Fulton, mother of the late Trayvon Martin, spoke to New York magazine about her son’s legacy as the spark that catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement and America’s closer inspection of police and citizen violence—and how, for women like her, the grief of losing her child is never-ending.
The occasion for her interview is the anniversary of the Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson. Here’s what Fulton shared.
She’s begun a mothers’ club of sorts:
I have a group called the Circle of Mothers that brings together mothers from all over the United States who have lost their children to violence. We had a retreat in May. It was an opportunity to be in the same room and to say to each other, “I know how you feel.” I noticed that women tend to heal in a different manner than men, so I felt that it was necessary for women to come together and heal together, laugh together — to try to take the grieving process, absorb it, and realize that this is a stage and we have to move to the next step.
She’s grown into her role on the national stage:
I wanted somebody else to be the spokesperson for the victims that you don’t know the names of, and haven’t seen on the news. I struggled with this for a long time. After many tears, and many nights on the floor, and many prayers, I said, “I can do better.”…
In the past year I’ve met with the families of some of the high-profile victims like Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, and Ramarley Graham in New York; Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago; Oscar Grant in Oakland; Michael Brown in Ferguson; Tamir Rice in Cleveland; Jordan Davis in Florida — the list goes on. Last week, I met with Sandra Bland’s mother and sister. It’s just unfortunate, the shoes they have to walk in and the journey they have to take.
She hasn’t forgiven Zimmerman:
I’m very honest about my feelings and I have not gotten there.
She, like us, thinks the Republican presidential candidates are bullshit:
They just recently had a Republican presidential debate and not one single person spoke about the issue of racial discrimination, or racial profiling, or the racial injustices that are happening here in the United States. You want to be the president of the United States and you can’t even address those issues?
She believes the lack of direct action on the part of the federal government shows that they simply don’t care much about black people:
If the tables were turned and it was their family member, if it was their friends, and if it was happening to their community, then they would be doing a lot more. I think because it’s African-Americans it doesn’t seem as important.... I mean, I am an American citizen and I have certain rights, but I feel like those rights are being ignored by the government.
Read the whole interview here.
Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.
Image via Getty.