The young woman who filmed the killing of George Floyd. 17-year-old, Darnella Frazier, will be receiving the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, a literary and free speech organization.
The event, which will be held virtually on December 8th, will honor Frazier with the award due to her bravery in filming the video that was shared around the world, sparking global protests and leading to investigations into several Minneapolis Police Department officers.
“With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness, and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw,” PEN America CEO, Suzanne Nossel, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and wellbeing, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder. We are proud to recognize her exceptional courage with this award.”
Frazier hasn’t spoken much about the attention the video has received and Complex spoke to her PR specialist, Kelley Bass, who said she was “humbled to receive this award and very grateful.”
The president of the organization also wrote a statement in the press release, saying, “With courage and clear-eyed resolve, Darnella bore witness to a critical truth at great personal and emotional cost—and our country is in her debt. We would all do well to emulate Darnella’s grit in standing up to those with a monopoly on force and violence as we push for a stronger democracy, a more equal society, and a more just world. Her truth-telling epitomizes the kind of brave action that PEN America exists to celebrate and defend.”
The video spread all over social media igniting protests around the world. She told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”