Reflecting On The Death of Ahmaud Arbery

Vol. 1, No. 8, February 23rd, 2021

Today marks the first anniversary of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. It was one year ago on this day that Ahmaud was senselessly killed while going out for a routine run and visit of newly constructed homes in a middle-class neighborhood just outside of Brunswick, Georgia. His killers are currently in jail awaiting trial for his murder along with other charges. With the way cases similar to this have played out in the United States, I have a cynical outlook if justice will indeed be served. Ahmaud was a Black man. It pains me to even describe him in the past tense, because he should be here today amongst the living, doing the very thing that brought him joy, running. Nevertheless, Ahmaud was profiled, harassed, held against his will, and eventually murdered by men who felt emboldened enough to to take a life that wasn’t theirs to seize. 

Ahmaud Arbery could have easily been me. I routinely run around my neighborhood and surrounding areas. I’ve since been extra vigilant to train on trails, yet that doesn’t alway put an end to profiling. The scum who murdered Ahmaud claimed they were making a citizen’s arrest for the burglarization of the home in construction and past break ins, yet our brother wasn’t found with any belongings on him. He was shot dead, because he fought for his life and resisted apprehension from trash in human skin who felt entitled to his body and his life. I often think about how I would have handled that situation and I can’t find many, if any, dissimilar actions I would have taken compared to brother Ahmaud. My family and I purchased a new home last year and the subdivision it’s in has doubled in size. There are new residences being built on almost every street. Many of us in our neighborhood occasionally walk through the new constructions often to see what contractors are doing differently or just to compare our homes. That type of traffic in recently built houses is common and it shouldn’t have been a surprise to Ahmaud’s murderers that he was merely engaged in what anyone does with homes being built. The difference was our brother was Black. When you’re Black, people rarely give you the benefit of the doubt. Normal activities are scrutinized and eventually demonized, because people cannot fathom Black people just being human. Additionally, crimes committed against Black people due to the mere fact of us just being Black have charges dismissed. This very scenario happened with Ahmaud’s family by an incompetent district attorney’s office that had ties with the human waste that murdered him. If you’re keeping up, Black people are victimized for just being Black then revictimized by the judicial system supposedly here to ensure justice is served.

There’s not enough policies or laws that will or should protect us from those that seek to do us harm simply due to our darker pigmentation. The hate crimes law Georgia passed after Ahmaud’s death is an after-the-fact action that more than likely will not dissuade would be attackers, especially if district attorneys won’t press charges. I advise brothers to protect yourselves and protect your families. Educate yourselves on situational awareness and self defense. No one is here to save us, but us. In honor of our brother Ahmaud Arbery, get some miles in (safely) on the trail or the treadmill. Most importantly, be safe and stay dangerous.

Doing The Work

Teacher In San Diego awarded for work in the community

Nasara Gargonnu, a physical educator and fitness instructor in San Diego, has been awarded for his work in keeping his community active. The husband and father was awarded the Health Services Advisory Board’s Community Inspiration Award. Gargonnu instructs at Morse High School while being a leader for the local chapter of Black Men Run and instructor in his area’s YMCA. Gargonnu’s goals are to keep the community active to better build their immunity systems.

100 Black Men of Savannah, Inc. give provided children’s books

The 100 Black Men of America is one of the nation’s leading African American mentoring organizations. The chapters in Savannah, Savannah State University, and Georgia Southern University have partnered to give away 100 free children’s books to their communities. The book includes essays from children on their experiences dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education

Changing the face of education

Black Men Teach, a Minneapolis nonprofit, is working alongside the Minnesota Legislature to recruit Black men to teach in elementary schools. The legislature is looking to address long-standing achievement gaps in the state. Markus Flynn, executive director of Black Men Teach, states there are sustained impacts to students when they have a Black teacher. According to a Johns Hopkins University report, the likelihood of Black students dropping out decreases by 40% when they have a Black teacher in elementary school.

What I’m Listening To

This week I hopped in the DeLorean to send me back only six months so I could listen to Burna Boy’s album, Twice As Tall. Personally, I felt like this joint was gravely underrated and should’ve been in heavy rotation for anyone that enjoys artists that are versatile. It was recognized by the industry by being Grammy-nominated under the world music category. Additionally, this album was executive produced by Diddy. Stand out songs include: “Way Too Big”, “Wonderful”, “Onyeka (Baby)”, “Monsters You Made”, and “Real Life”.

Notables

On this day in 1979, Frank Peterson, Jr. was named the 1st Black general in the United States Marine Corps.


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey