Editor’s Note: There is mention of violence in this story.

February 23rd is now officially recognized as Ahmaud Arbery Day in the state of Georgia. This date also marks Arbery’s date of death. Arbery was only 25 years old when he was violently gunned down in the suburb of Brunswick, GA.

On February 22, 2022, the three men responsible for Arbery’s death were charged with, among other things, hate murder. The jury made its decision after just one day of deliberation. The conviction came a day before the second anniversary of Arbery’s murder.

The conviction of the Abery killers finally brought a small but significant consolation to the black community.

To commemorate Arbery, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Arbery and urging people to jog 2.23 miles annually in support of 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 by the state. Arbery’s family fought hard for justice for their loved ones.

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

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, announced at his ceremony that the foundation will award six scholarships in his honor. Both of Abery’s parents, Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery, said their family’s fight for justice had been tough. Cooper-Jones refused to accept anything but a guilty conviction, although the courts tried to persuade her to be content with her son’s killers accepting a plea deal.

This winning case for the Arbery family was not a usual outcome for black families in similar situations. The guilty verdict took a lot of effort from Arbery’s family, but eventually the state of Georgia did its duty in court.

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

In recent years, attention has been drawn to the tremendous failure of the United States and its court systems to black victims of senseless hate crimes. Kentucky failed Breonna Taylor, her family and loved ones. Illinois did the same with Laquan McDonald, and the list goes on.

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