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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: The state of Georgia honors the life of Ahmaud Arbery

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Editor’s Note: This story includes mention of violence.

In the state of Georgia, Feb. 23rd will now officially be recognized as Ahmaud Arbery Day. This date also marks Arbery’s death date. Arbery was only 25 years old when he was violently killed in the suburban town of Brunswick, GA.

On Feb. 22, 2022, the three men responsible for Arbery’s death were all charged with a hate crime for the murder, among other charges. The jury decided after just one day of deliberating. The conviction came a day before the second anniversary of Arbery's murder.

 The conviction of Arbery’s murderers finally gave the Black community a small but significant sense of consolation. 

To commemorate Arbery, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Arbery and urging people to jog 2.23 miles annually to advocate for racial equality. 

The first-ever Ahmaud Arbery Day was celebrated with a ceremony in downtown Atlanta at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The day honoring Arbery was a thoughtful gesture from the state. Arbery’s family fought hard for their loved ones' justice.

Arbery’s family has also honored him with the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, announced at his ceremony the foundation will be giving out six scholarships in his honor. Both of Arbery’s parents Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery said their family’s fight for justice was a tough one. Cooper-Jones refused to accept anything but a guilty conviction even though the courts tried to convince her to be content with her son’s murderers accepting a plea deal.

This victorious case for the Arbery family has not been a common outcome for Black families in similar situations. The guilty conviction took a lot of fight from Arbery’s family, but eventually, the state of Georgia did its duty in the court of law.

It’s time for other states and court systems to follow suit and not be complacent in the face of racism. 

In recent years it has been brought to attention that the United States and its court systems have failed Black victims of senseless hate crimes tremendously. Kentucky failed Breonna Taylor, her family and her loved ones. Illinois did the same to Laquan McDonald, and the list goes on. 

The beauty of Ahmaud Arbery Day is remembering him as an active young man with a bright future and not just another Black person who was killed for simply existing. Arbery was an athlete, a kind friend, a brother and a son.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Ahmaud Arbery.

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