Jay Z recently acquired the rights to two books – Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom and Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin authored by Trayvon’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin – which will serve as the basis for the projects.
Suspicious Nation is told from the perspective of covering the Zimmerman trial for NBC. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member in the Florida community where he and Martin both lived, shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old. Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge after claiming he shot Martin in self-defense. The verdict sparked protests nationwide. Rest in Power reflects on Martin’s childhood and the aftermath following the death of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin’s son.
The planned works include a six-part docuseries that Jay Z will produce and a narrative feature film that will be developed by the studio.
Jay Z has been a strong advocate in seeking justice and speaking against inequality in recent years. In 2013, he and Beyoncé participated in a rally for Martin in New York. Last year, Jay Z tackled police brutality in his protest song “spiritual” and his Tidal company donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter-related causes.
Earlier this month, Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein discussed the six-part documentary series Jay Z executive produced, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which delves into the need for criminal justice and prison reform during an event at Spike TV’s New York studios. Browder was arrested at age 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack and spent more than 1,000 days at the notorious prison facility Rikers Island without a trial. He later took his own life at age 22.