ABOVE PHOTO: Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton and son Jahvaris Fulton at Trayvon’s trial.
By J. Whyatt Mondesire
The picking at the Trayvon Martin wound in Black America’s heart and soul continues–as it should. A child is dead, a mother grieves, a community festers
and the search for a credible outcome (even an incomplete one) is still ongoing. But reality is a cruel dictator. Nothing lasts forever. The Trayvon Martin
killing and the resulting jury verdict will be consigned to its place in history in the not too distant future. By Labor Day, the speaking invitations for
Ms. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, will start to fall off. By the holiday season it’s all too likely that some other killing or tragedy will have stolen
the spotlight from the boy from Miami who was gunned down so mercilessly in that rinky, dink place called Sanford, Florida.
Last month Trayvon’s father was invited by the Congressional Black Caucus to testify on Capitol Hill on the impact of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws
and how they should be modified or repealed. How many more times do you think Mr. Martin will be invited to Washington’s hallowed halls of power?
Time is merciless. Today’s media superstars are tomorrow’s questions on “Jeopardy.” Still doubt me? Consider the four remaining Jackson brothers last week
who performed live to earn grocery money in a theatre in New Brunswick, NJ where tickets retailed at $35 and there were plenty of empty seats!
So, that’s why I want to be among the first to suggest that now is the time for Trayvon’s parents to cut a deal for a book about the horrible tragedy that
befell them in order attract the kinds of resources needed to keep the issues of racial profiling and the racially imbalanced criminal justice system in
Proceeds from the book and/or a movie should be set up in a tax-exempt foundation to allow Trayvon’s parents to dictate their travel and their appearances
before they have to start to rely on someone else’s charity.
The dignity and moral character these parents have exhibited during the past 18 months has been nothing short of extraordinary. And I don’t want to see
anything happen to diminish their standing on the international stage. Having someone outside the immediate family lead the call for them to write a book
gives them the cover needed to hold off the usual suspects in the mainstream news media that might stoop to accuse them of trying to profit off of
The picture of Mrs. Fulton speaking earlier last week at the summer meeting of the National Bar Association in Miami Beach gave me the idea that African
American professional groups who really want to make a contribution bigger than rhetoric should lend their expertise to this family to insure that their
work has the institutional foundation required to outlast the kind of momentary celebrity status via TV and You Tube.
Once the book is done, the National Association of Black Journalists (currently meeting in Orlando) should help Trayvon’s family schedule appearances on
various radio, television and Internet talk shows. The Black Accountants Association should help set up the foundation so the family can avoid any tax
pitfalls that could befall any of the various filmmaking associations writing a working script.
In that vein, Fruitvale Station the movie about the police killing of Oscar Grant in San Francisco, made for just over $1 million, has already grossed more
than $6 million as of last week.
By institutionalizing Trayvon’s story into a sustainable movement that also protects his family, we can create an environment better able to offer workable
Anything less is just that… less.