Jay-Z paid a touching tribute to Trayvon Martin at the sixth annual Peace Walk and Talk in Miami on Saturday (10.02.18).
The ’99 Problems’ hitmaker spoke about the legacy of the late 17-year-old – who was shot and killed by neighbor George Zimmerman in 2013 – and said he would be a “beacon of light” alongside the likes of Martin Luther King and Gandhi.
He told the crowd gathered at the Betty T. Ferguson Amphitheatre: “Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to all the people out here so you guys would never have to go through the pain and the hurt these guys went through.
“His name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their lives to push our culture forward. The Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis, that’s the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope and push us in a better direction.”
Trayvon’s death sparked outrage and debates on gun laws and racial profiling after Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges over the teenager’s death because of Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, which meant he could protect himself from what he perceived to be a threat.
And Trayvon’s loved ones were pleased to have Jay – whose real name is Shawn Carter – turn out to offer support at the rally.
Brenda Martin Providence, a friend of his mother, Sybrina Fulton, told Complex: “It means a lot to the community when you see people like Jay Z who come out to support your cause.
“With everything going on, we all need to support the cause because our youth are dying in the streets. A lot of mothers are missing their children. For me, personally, my son will be 40 in a couple of days, and I have two grandsons. We all need to come out and show our support and walk for the community.”
The 48-year-old rapper previously announced plans to team up with the Weinstein company for a movie and docuseries about the murdered teenager, but because of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal, it is unclear what will happen to the project now.