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.