Watch: Powerful first trailer for Jay-Z's Trayvon Martin documentary series
'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story', a six-part documentary series produced by Jay-Z, puts the Black Lives Matter movement in historical context
Last year, it was announced that Jay-Z had begun producing a documentary series about the life of Trayvon Martin and the development of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the first trailer for 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story' has been unveiled and it foreshadows a visceral, powerful tale that is set to unfold on screens through the six-part docu-series later this month.
The documentary arrives six years after the grave incident that sparked a national movement in the form of Black Lives Matter. On February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
The murder sparked protests across the country as Americans reeled over another slaying of an unarmed person of color. Martin's name has since become a symbol of the dangers of being black in this country, and the documentary explores how the murder is representative of the greater social and political problems in the country today.
The minute-long trailer opens with a series of 911 phone calls that recreate the night of the shooting. It opens with Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, filing a missing person report, followed by the shooter George Zimmerman reporting a “real suspicious guy” in his neighborhood. We then hear what is ostensibly a neighbor calling to report the altercation between Martin and Zimmerman. During the final call, Martin can be heard screaming in the background, setting the chilling tone for what's to follow in the docu-series. Watch the full trailer below.
As Esquire reports, the docu-series features interviews with Trayvon Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin; Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump, Angela Rye, Reverend Al Sharpton, Angela Davis, and Carmelo Anthony, among many others. The trailer also touches on the ensuing court case, which ended with Zimmerman being acquitted of murder charges thanks to Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law. But, evidently, it primarily focuses on the huge wave of activism that emerged in the aftermath of the shooting and Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Earlier this year, Jay-Z spoke at the Trayvon Martin Peace Walk in Florida. "We want to make sure that we stand and support and never forget that Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to the people out here. So you guys will never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys went through," said Jay.
"And his name will sit alongside the greats who lost their lives to push our culture forward—the Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis. That’s the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope to push us in a better direction, so thank you guys for your support."
The six-part series premieres July 30 on BET via the Paramount Network.