They are the consummate, solid figures in Black middle-class Miami who see themselves simply as ordinary people. She is a longtime employee in the county government in Miami while he is a truck driver for a food company in the Miami area.
But Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin have undergone an uncommon odyssey through the death of their son Trayvon Martin. It is a journey that has made them among the most recognized two people in the country thanks to the 24-hour news cycle. They have been a part of countless interviews on national television. They have been seen at protest rallies in various cities, speaking to people about the death of their son.
It is a journey laced with tragedy that they contend has made them closer.
Although they have been divorced for years and have been involved in other relationships, they have remained friends and even continue to worship periodically at the same Miami church. But the February night on which their son was killed has forever locked them into a high-profile partnership that is laced with agony and heartbreak.
“We’re just parents and this is something we have to do, as parents,” said Martin, speaking in an interview with BET.com. “We’re loving parents. No matter what our situation has been, individually, this is something that we have to do for Trayvon.”
Martin added, “We have always been close friends and we have always maintained a very close relationship with each other.” While they have been involved in other relationships — Trayvon was killed while near Orlando on a visit to the home of his father’s girlfriend — they have been committed to each other and to the cause of bringing George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s killer, to justice.
They are deeply involved in their churches. Fulton sings in the choir at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, along with her sister. Martin, on the other hand, is an active member of the Metropolitan AME Church in Miami, although he will occasionally worship at her church.
“We spend more time with each other now because we’re on the road together and do a lot of traveling now,” Martin said. “But we have our other lives. But we are determined to stay strong with each other to get through all of this.”
All of this, of course, has entailed a seemingly endless stream of media appearances, at times having them race from Florida to New York, Washington and other cities. They travel to tell the story of their son as well as their strong desire to see his killer prosecuted.
“It’s been tiresome,” he said. “Some days, we’re working on two or three hours of sleep. It’s very draining.
Yet, they persevere, with their relationship as firm as ever. “They have a very close relationship with each other,” said Benjamin Crump, their lawyer. “Things like this tend to bring people close together.”
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(Photo: Evan Vucci-Pool/Getty Images)