Most liberal activists and politicians would give anything for a chance to speak at the Democratic National Convention. But as she stood center stage—hundreds of cameras trained on her, dozens of spotlights shining down, a canopy of red, white, and blue balloons overhead—Sybrina Fulton would have given anything to be anywhere else—an alternate reality where her son, Trayvon Martin, was still alive.
“I didn’t want this spotlight,” Fulton said. “But I will do everything I can to focus some of that light on a path out of this darkness.”
As Fulton spoke, other members of the group Mothers of the Movement stood at her side. Gun violence and police brutality killed their sons and daughters. And it’s not a partisan statement to say that far too many women were standing on that stage.
You might have heard of their children. Lucy McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, died after a man shot him dead for listening to loud music. Geneva Reed-Veal’s daughter, Sandra Bland, was found dead in her jail cell after police brought her in for a traffic violation. Gwen Carr’s son, Eric Garner, died in a police chokehold on the streets of Staten Island. Lezley McSpadden’s son, Michael Brown, died after a police officer shot him dead on the street in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking massive protests.