Duluth Community Walks To Honor An Unarmed Man Shot & Killed in Georgia
"I'm terrified as a mom. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. It's a thing as a parent all you want to do is keep your kids safe," said Diana Oestreich.
DULUTH, Minn. – On Friday, the Duluth community came together to walk in honor of the life of an unarmed black man from Georgia who was tragically shot and killed while jogging back in February.
Instead of celebrating what would have been his 26th birthday, the family of Ahmaud Arbery will now be mourning his death.
Communities around the nation, including Duluth, are making it a point to help pay homage to a man, whose life was tragically cut short.
Dozens of people of different shades and backgrounds walked through Duluth celebrating a man they have no connection to other than the sympathy for the loss of another life.
“I believe that it is really important as a community, as a country, and as mothers that when one of our sons are killed it matters to all of us,” said Diana Oestreich.
It has been nearly three months since Ahmaud Arbery was killed by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia in a shooting which was recorded and has been widely on social media.
His family is still seeking justice.
But instead of basking in sorrow, this young man’s mother requested help from communities around the nation.
That request was honored in Duluth by Community Leader and Activist Henry Banks.
“I remember her saying she wanted the country to get together in whatever way they could either by running or walking, individually or collectively to honor her son in a positive way,” said Banks. “So I said we need to do something.”
But the motivation wasn’t only to honor that request. It was also a way to shed light on an issue that people of color face every day.
“It’s important for us to really pay attention to what’s going on in America with regards to communities of color, our native heritage brothers and sister because our communities are under attack,” said Banks. “We have to be cognizant of that even on the local level.”
One woman at the honorary walk in Duluth is the mother of two sons, one black and one white.
She says it haunts her knowing her young black son could be a target of another similar tragedy.
“I’m terrified as a mom. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t eat. It’s a thing as a parent all you want to do is keep your kids safe,” said Oestreich.
As terrifying as it may be, this mom believes walking in honor of this young man serves a valuable lesson for her children.
Oestreich said, “I think that both of my sons get to see that they have the power to make a change and that they get to stand up for the people in our community who need it. If we come together then that makes us all safer.”
A safer community is what most people want, which is why appreciation is shown for all walks of life showing up to stand in solidarity to pay homage for a young man who lost his life way too soon.
“To see the varieties of colors, kids, and adults coming together, that’s what we want. That’s how change happens and that’s how a community is built when we come together.
A father and son have since been arrested and are facing murder charges in connection with Arbery’s death.