By tattooing Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy, Van is reminded that he, too, is a prominent voice in this community and he couldn’t feel more honored.
In this touching Black Ink Crew: Chicago highlight, Van is blessed to have not one but two activists come into 9 Mag, one being Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy, and the other being Ronald A. Hummons, a father who lost his son as well. It’s no secret the impact Trayvon’s murder has had not only on the culture but on the world. Trayvon was 17 at the time of his death and it highlighted the targeting of young African American’s by members of law enforcement. Unfortunately, these tragedies occur on a daily basis. Since the activists both want the tats at the same time, Kat is brought in to partake in this esteemed privilege as well.
Van commends the men on their role in the community, speaking out and being a voice for those who no longer have one. For inspiration, Tracy explains that before this tragedy occurred, Trayvon has always been a beacon of light and motivation to him and he wants a piece that embodies that. It would be fitting to have Travon portrayed through a Sphinx-like figure because he is still a wonder in this world. The legacy must live on. Once the piece is sketched, Van and Kat get to work. Having these men in the shop remind the artists why they started this shop in the first place. It’s important to exude goodwill but unfortunately the drama often distracts them from their purpose. Black men are losing their lives for the color of their skin daily and the shop is arguing over pettiness, for what? 9 Mag needs to remember why they started this and get back to serving their community.
The tattoos came out better than the men could have imagined and Van could not be happier.
Tracy Martin’s tattoo:
Van also took to Instagram to share videos and pictures of the piece and he certainly did Trayvon justice. (Swipe left and press play)
This piece tonight on Black Ink Chicago for Tracy Martin, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN, thank you Brother for this amazing experience… I’ve overcome so much adversity, so much hate, so many critics trying to bash me, but listen here… You muthaf—s think you can stop me when GOD got me out here making history lol I’m laughing to the bank baby BELIEVE DAT… #RIP #trayvonmartin THE WORLD LOVES YOU BUT POP LOVES YOU MORE AND I GOT HIM RIGHT FA YOU YOUNG KING ? I DONT FIGHT FOR OWNERSHIP I FIGHT FOR MY TEAM ?
Kat shared her masterpiece as well:
Tattoo done on last night’s episode of #blackinkcrewchicago! Thank you so much @ronaldahummons_official for giving me this honor! So sorry for your loss. A lot of serious issues addressed in last night’s episode, so grateful we are able to use our platform to bring awareness! #kattat #vh1 #blackinkchi
Her client, Ronald Hummons also wrote:
“I’m so thankful for these guys here and their heart and willingness to be about something bigger than themselves. Getting my tattoo on my son’s birthday and celebrating it on your show was life and I’m greatful for you all. Thank you.