Darnella Frazier One of Two Recipients of Pulitzer Prizes for Coverage of Murders of Black Men

Darnella Frazier One of Two Recipients of Pulitzer Prizes for Coverage of Murders of Black Men

06.14.21
Photo: Darnella Frazier/@darnella_frazier03 via Instagram
06.14.21

Darnella Frazier and Mitchell S. Jackson were both honored with Pulitzer Prizes on Friday evening for their coverage on the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Both will receive a $15,000 award for their citations.

Frazier, now 18-year-old, received an honorary Pulitzer Prize for her courage in filming Floyd being pinned under the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin. 

The Black teenager was the only witness at that moment, video recording the four police officers and Floyd taking his final breaths. 

“Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier wrote in an Instagram post on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth. 

She added: “My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”

Jackson, a Portland native, won a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing on his “Twelve Minutes and a Life” essay about Ahmaud Arbery’s killing — an article Jackson freelanced for Runner’s World. 

The columnist for Esquire and an assistant professor at the University of Chicago received a top award by ASME for this article a day before winning the Pulitzer Prize. 

“Oh. My. God!!!!!!!!!!!!” Jackson quote tweeted to the official announcement from the Pulitzer Prize account.

Jackson’s part-commentary and part-history essay touched on the evolution of jogging in the 1960s, when people discouraged African Americans from doing the action.

“Ahmaud Arbery, by all accounts, loved to run but didn’t call himself a runner. That is a shortcoming of the culture of running,” Jackson wrote. That Maud’s jogging made him the target of hegemonic white forces is a certain failure of America. Check the books—slave passes, vagrancy laws, Harvard’s Skip Gates arrested outside his own crib—Blacks ain’t never owned the same freedom of movement as whites.”