CAMBRIDGE—Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, stood before a full congregation at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church this morning and told of the days and weeks after her son’s death, when she just wanted to sit in her Florida home and cry.
“Do nothing, just cry,” she said, wearing a bright blue sweater with her son Jahvaris Fulton behind her. “But I knew that the type of son I have now, and the type of son I have in heaven, would not allow me to sit at home and just cry.”
Martin was shot to death in the Florida neighborhood where he was visiting his father on Feb. 26, 2012. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader who admitted to shooting him, was later acquitted of murder charges under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Martin’s parents, Fulton and Tracy Martin, started the Trayvon Martin Foundation to raise awareness of gun violence and help families in situations like theirs. Fulton was invited to Cambridge by Charles Ogletree, a prominent Harvard Law School professor and member of the St. Paul church.
Taisha Akins of Dorchester, whose 17-year-old son was killed near Codman Square in 2011, said she was touched and inspired by Fulton’s galvanizing a national movement around her son’s death.
The second of Akins’ three children, Khris McKinney, was shot to death in daylight on Whitman Street.
“I just wanted Trayvon’s mother to know that there are so many of us, and I want to start a movement, as she did for her son,” Akins said. “I said we share the same hurt and experience.”Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.