Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Sybrina Fulton: Woman 

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Sybrina Fulton: Woman 

By, Ascellia Arenas

4/30/16

This weekend was packed with wonderful events and activities. It was such a rewarding feeling to be invited and welcomed at these various activities and special events. But, there was one moment in time where everything stood still. While at the Miami -Dade County Chapter of Charmettes Annual Scholarship Breakfast, I had the unique opportunity to speak with a woman whom I admire and have so much compassion for. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin-who was murdered in 2012 by George Zimmerman, was one of the recipients of the “Woman of The Year Award”. At first, the moment seemed surreal because I watched this woman traverse the stress and anxiety of testifying in a murder trial where her son was the victim. I directed two documentaries about the trial and I documented the first rumblings and initial investigation, rallies, and more. I felt her pain and agony while she held her head high and demanded respect for her child that was ripped away from her. I thought to myself “what can you say to her that can even express how much you respect her, her experience, and her testimony”? I was standing in front of the woman who faced the dragon that killed her son in cold blood. To make matters worse, he was exonerated. This tragedy gave birth to our favorite hashtag #BlackLivesMatter 
I spoke, “Good Morning”.  Then I said, “Congratulations on the honor you are receiving today.” She replied, “thank you,” and then, all of a sudden, she doubled back and tilted her head to the side. She said, “let me see your teeth”. I thought it kind of odd, but of course I obliged. Then she asked me about my braces. Of all things, she could have asked me about, she was most interested in my braces! She wondered if they were retainers, how long I would need to wear them, and so on. Then I saw it, it was in that moment when I gave her an opportunity to actually talk to someone about anything other than her slain child, to ask about how someone else lives, to talk to someone who does not have the experience of moving on with her life without her child, to not have to re-hash that event for the millionth time. After all, we have a lot in common: we are black women from South Florida, we have birthed two black male children, we both attended HBCU’s in Florida, and both of us have deep understanding of real grief that profoundly changes your life forever. She wanted to know about my Invisaligns. She just wanted to talk about something “normal”. I was happy to give her that moment. 

  
Later that day, when she gave her speech, she emphasized how she was thrust in to becoming a Civil Rights Activist; she was just a girl who was born and raised in Miami, went to school in Miami, and had a “normal” existence until that day when everything changed. She explained that Psalms 23 is what gets her through the days, weeks, months, and years. She showed me that God doesn’t call the qualified: God qualifies the called.  You better be ready, too! 

  
 My sons are still here alive and well, healthy and happy, I’m blessed not “lucky”. She is missing one of her two sons, forever. The world has its way with her son, Trayvon.  She did not self-destruct. She holds her head high and walks the walk into her destiny every single day. She’s definitely a remarkable example of a virtuous woman. I’m honored to have made her acquaintance. 

 

C.2016 Cellibration Publishing

Who Will Answer His Cries?

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Who Will Answer His Cries?
By, Celli Arenas

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At the beginning of this national tragedy, on February 26th, we were reminded of young Emmett Till; who was dragged through a Mississippi town for whistling at a white girl while at a service station, drinking a soda, and hanging out in a place that was vastly different from his Chicago home. Trayvon Martin stopped by a convenience store to get a snack of Skittles and Arizona ice tea; this would be his last snack. What happened in Sanford, Florida is just as appalling and unjust. Trayvon Martin, a Miami native, visited his father in Sanford Florida, and never returned home. His cries for help are still unanswered. His murderer, George Zimmerman, has yet to be brought to justice.

Zimmerman claims self-defense under the “Stand Your Ground Law”. Which court of his peers decided that this was indeed the case? As of April 9, 2012, there will be no Grand Jury to determine the fate of this case, thanks to State Attorney Angela Corey . There is enough evidence and reasonable suspicion that would require any court of law to, at very least, convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter. According to Corey, 57-year-old State Prosecutor and graduate of University of Florida Law says, “I just want to be fair.” Trayvon’s cries were unanswered by the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman is still able to walk free, and even develop a web site to solicit money from citizens in an effort to fund his defense.

On March 22 and 24, the 100 Black Men of South Florida answered the cries of young Trayvon Martin, as they do for the several hundred, young African-American and other minority boys living in South Florida. The 100 Black Men of South Florida chartered a bus for anyone interested, to travel to Sanford, Florida for the first of many protests to bring justice to this unanswered tragedy. Several of South Florida’s political and religious leaders were aboard, reflecting on civil rights marches of the 60’s and wondering how something so heinous could be ignored. Reverend Walter Richardson, and State Representative Daphne Campbell, along with several others, availed themselves to take the ride to Sanford, with their male children in tow. “I was there for the march on Washington. I saw the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver the now famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. It is our duty to get involved,” says Richardson.

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“Anything I can do to help and represent for us, here in South Florida, I am there. I would not miss this event,” says Campbell. The ride for justice sparked a fire in the hearts and souls of the 100 Black Men. “I have a son Trayvon’s age. As our President said, he could have very well been my son,” says Director of Programs of the 100 Black Men of South Florida, Cliff Thomas.


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Saturday morning, March 24, 2012, there was a prayer breakfast at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens Florida, led by Pastor Arthur Jackson III and the 100 Black Men of South Florida. The event was hosted by past Senator Kendrick Meek and was attended by several members of political office such as: Senator Oscar Braynon II, Vice Mayor of Miami Gardens Oliver Gilbert, and candidate for State Congress Dr. Rudy Moise. They gathered in the Youth Hall of Antioch to have a candid conversation with the young men about strategy and prevention. “Part of what our youth needs to know is how to diffuse situations as best they can.” says Meek. “As a former law enforcement officer, when I get pulled over, I turn on my dome lights, so that I am visible to everyone as the car is approached.” He adds, “Conducting yourself in a way that could possibly save your life may not prevent danger, but at least it can help bring clarity to a dangerous situation.” National President of the 100 Black Men of America, Al Dotson says, “this was a great opportunity for the boys to be up close and personal with elected officials and community leaders. The adult men met the boys at their level and had an honest discussion with them about the Trayvon Martin case, living in America as a black man, and other concerns.” The 100 Black Men of Greater Ft. Lauderdale were also in attendance. While the murder of Trayvon Martin is not yet resolved, at least we know that the 100 Black Men of America hears his cries for justice and peace.

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Breaking News 4/11/12 @ 4:57 pm: George Zimmerman will be charged with second degree murder and is in custody!