Ava DuVernay has arrived at the Academy Awards, where her Netflix film “13th” is up for best documentary feature. But the filmmaker took some time earlier on Sunday to remind fans that the day is also the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death.
“Our hoodies are still up and the movement is still strong,” DuVernay wrote on Twitter. Martin was 17 and unarmed when he was fatally shot by Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012. He was also wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Hoodies have since become a protest symbol for supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In “13th,” DuVernay links the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, to mass incarceration and, specifically, the criminalization of black men. DuVernay’s documentary focuses on the amendment’s exception clause, which allows slavery and involuntary servitude “as punishment for crime.”
Martin is directly referenced in the film, along with other black men and women who were unarmed when they were killed by police or (in Martin’s case) citizens citing fear as motivation to use fatal force. The documentary also explores the creation of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, which was frequently cited during debates about the shooting. Zimmerman was acquitted for Martin’s murder in 2013.