Standing next to the late teenager's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the rapper delivered a short speech to the hundreds in attendance in Miami Gardens, Florida, as part of the sixth annual Peace Walk & Peace Talk.
Martin was fatally shot at the age of 17 in 2012 in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter, claiming he was acting in self defence, despite the fact Martin wasn't in possession of any weapons. 5 February marked what would have been Martin's 23rd birthday.
"It's a beautiful day," Jay-Z addressed the crowd with. "Thank you all for being here it's very important the support you guys are showing and the strength that Sybrina and Tracy and the family are showing."
"We want to make sure we stand and support, we never forget and Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to all the people out here so you guys will never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys have gone through."
"His name will sit alongside some of the great whom lost their life to push our culture forward, the Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis, that's the intention we set that his name serves as a beacon of hope and light to push us in a better direction."
Jay-Z is a producer on the documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, which will focus on his childhood, death, and its aftermath. In 2013, he and Beyoncé attended a New York rally calling for justice after Martin's death.
Zimmerman reportedly threatened to "beat" Jay-Z and feed him to an alligator over what he claimed was harassment of his parents by a documentary crew.
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