“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 whom lost their life to push our culture forward,” JAY-Z said. “The Martin Luther Kings, the Ghandis, 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.”
In 2013, JAY-Z established a relationship with the slain teen’s family when he attended the “Justice for Trayvon Martin” assembly in New York City. The rally was held a year after Martin was unjustifiably killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Martin was 17 years old. Once the case was brought to court, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of murder. Martin’s death later served as the catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement that has been fighting for justice on behalf of black people in the U.S.
Last year, the 4:44 rapper also announced a docu-series on Martin’s life that’ll reportedly premiere on the Paramount Network. The six-part program is slated for release some time this year. “This is an important American story,” JAY-Z said in a press release. “We’re honored that Trayvon’s family has entrusted us to share the truth with the world.”