Jay-Z Honors Trayvon Martin: He ‘Served as a Beacon of Light’

“His name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their life to push our culture forward,” rapper says at Peace Walk & Peace Talk in Florida

Jay-Z paid tribute to slain teen Trayvon Martin, saying “his name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their life to push our culture forward.”

The music mogul joined Martin’s parents at the Sixth Annual Peace Walk & Peace Talk in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Saturday. Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman while walking through his father’s neighborhood, unarmed, six years ago. Zimmerman was acquitted on murder and manslaughter charges, and the event became a flashpoint for race relations.

“It’s very important, the support you guys are showing and the strength that Sabrina and Tracy and the family are showing,” Jay-Z said, referring to Martin’s parents. “And we want to make sure we stand in support and we never forget that Trayvon served as a beacon of light to all the people out there, so you guys would never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys went through.”

Hundreds of marchers participated in the rally, which honors victims of gun violence and promotes the right to walk freely without being profiled, shot or killed.

“His name will sit alongside some of the greats who lost their life to push our culture forward,” Jay-Z added. “The Martin Luther Kings, the Ghandis, 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.”

Jay-Z produced a six-part series, “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” which will air this year on Paramount Network. The series is based on the books “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” by attorney Lisa Bloom and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.