Trayvon Martin, Who Dreamt Of Being A Pilot, To Receive Honorary Aviation Degree

An aviation school in Florida is honoring Trayvon Martin with a posthumous degree at its commencement this month.

Florida Memorial University, a historically black college, announced in a Facebook post Wednesday that the 17-year-old, who was gunned down by a neighborhood watchman in 2012, will receive a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science with a concentration in flight education on May 13.

The degree will honor the “steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot.” His parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, will accept the degree on his behalf.

The university’s president, Roslyn Clark, said that awarding the posthumous degree is important for the school and noted that Fulton is an alumna of the HBCU.

“Of special significance is awarding posthumously the Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation to Trayvon Martin. Sybrina, our alum, epitomizes strength and dignity as she uplifts other victims of violence while effecting change for a more equal and just society,” Clark said in the press release.

In addition to the degree, the HBCU will host a post-commencement fundraiser. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which is headquartered at the college.

Before he was killed, Martin had dreams of becoming a pilot. Fulton told the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 that her son spent time studying at George T. Baker Aviation School during his freshman year of high school. Martin was inspired by his uncle, Ronald Fulton, who had a brief career in aviation. Barrington Irving ― who in 2007 became the youngest person at the time to pilot a plane around the world solo ― also had a big influence on Martin’s interest after he started attending Irving’s summer youth programs.

“He loved flying and working with his hands. Barrington Irving took him on his plane at the Opa-Locka Airport. He got a chance to sit in the cockpit and that did it for him,” Fulton told the Times. “He wanted to be a pilot or work as a mechanic in aviation. He was mechanically inclined and could fix just about anything.”

Neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman killed Martin five years ago in Florida. Zimmerman called 911 to report that Martin, who was carrying an Arizona Iced Tea and Skittles, looked suspicious. Despite dispatchers instructing Zimmerman not to pursue the teen, he did anyway. He got into a fight with Martin and fatally shot him.

Martin’s death sparked protest nationwide and led to the creation of Black Lives Matter. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in 2013.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Black Lives Matter, Current Events, News, Open Thread and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Trayvon Martin, Who Dreamt Of Being A Pilot, To Receive Honorary Aviation Degree

  1. Liza says:

    I commend Florida Memorial University for honoring Trayvon Martin. His parents have dedicated themselves to bringing about the changes needed for boys like Trayvon to grow up safely in this country. God knows every child deserves that. And in doing this work, they seem to have found meaning and have not allowed his death and his murderer’s acquittal to be the final word. I hope that FMU honoring their son lifts them up as well.

    But we have to ask, how much has changed in the five years since Trayvon was murdered?

    • Liza says:

      It’s a slow process, and it shouldn’t be. Not if some of these so called leaders got on board. I’m looking at the Democrats.

    • Liza says:

      And I should also say that I don’t know where the families of the victims of these race killings find the courage within themselves to go public. I believe that if Trayvon were my son I would have become catatonic when he was murdered. I would have sat in a chair looking out the window until I finally died. I would have been destroyed, my life over.

      The truth is, even though we aren’t related to these murdered victims, part of us dies with them. We are losing a part of ourselves, witnessing the injustice and the sorrow of the families and friends and the horrible, senseless waste of promising young lives. And we witness this over and over. It is a constant reminder to me of growing up in the Deep South and the feelings of powerlessness in the face of their brand of racism, raw, brutal, and exposed. You would think that five decades would have made a difference.

      There is a difference, of course. Trayvon could easily have had a career in aviation. And Jordan Davis could have joined the armed forces and have done almost anything. It was all good until in one split second they found themselves in Emmett Till’s America and were murdered by evil, racist men who still occupy that space.

  2. Ametia says:

    *Sigh* It’s been 5 years since Trayvon was murdered at the hands of a crazy killer GZ..

    The honorary degree is fine, but how about SOME JUSTICE.

    How about locking up Zimmerman and throwing away the key, hhmmmm?

    Don’t judge me.

Leave a Reply