The three killers of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of felony murder this week for hunting down Arbery as he ran recreationally in their neighborhood.
It was a fragment of hope in the grim aftermath of teenage Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s not guilty verdict last week. Maybe the criminal system is not that broken, you may have wondered for a moment.
Writer Mitchell S. Jackson is here to remind you that despite what may seem like justice served, the wounds of Arbery’s death will not so neatly heal. Jackson’s profile of Arbery for Runner’s World won the Pulitzer Prize and National Magazine award. It’s a heartbreaking and honest look at a young life needlessly taken.
Ahmaud, “Maud” to his friends, Jackson writes, “was more than a rally or a march. He was more than a symbol, more than a movement, more than a cause. He. Was. Loved.”
There are so many beautiful moments in this piece. But here’s a part of the lede:
Game time, the opposing team calls the play that Maud put the fierce kaput on in practice, and beneath a metal-halide glare that’s also a gauntlet, Maud barrels towards the running back and—BOOM!—lays a hit that sounds like trucks colliding. It’s a noise that resounds across the field and into the stands, that just might ring all over Brunswick. The fans send up a roar but Maud trots to the sidelines almost insouciant. Jason Vaughn, an assistant coach who also coached Maud on JV, grabs him by his face mask. “Now that’s how you hit,” he says, tamping astonishment that a boy his size could hit that hard.
But that’s young Maud, undersized in the physical sense, super-sized in heart.
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