In March 2017, Jay-Z announced that he would be producing a six-part documentary series about Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012. Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story premieres tonight, July 30th.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Rest in Power was based in part on the 2017 book Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, written by the teen’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Martin and Fulton both served as producers on the project, which was directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason. The series also draws from attorney Lisa Bloom’s book Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It, according to Deadline.
The first episode of Rest in Power will air at 10 p.m. ET on both BET and the Paramount Network. If you have cable, you can use your login information to stream the episode in real time on the Paramount Network’s website. If you don’t have cable, you can stream the documentary live on apps like DirecTV Now.
The Guardian notes that while the documentary focuses on Martin’s death and the investigation and trial surrounding it, it also explores the political climate and its impact on the case. This includes a discussion of the Stand-Your-Ground law, which allowed Zimmerman to argue that he shot Martin in self-defense.
In December 2017, Zimmerman threatened to beat Jay-Z after the documentary’s crew asked his family members to speak on camera about Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal. In May, according to CBS, Zimmerman was charged with stalking a private investigator hired to find sources for the documentary.
Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal remains an immense tragedy, and it’s important that we as a society continue to remember Trayvon Martin, reflect on both his life and death, and improve. We’ll definitely be tuning in tonight to watch Rest in Power.