Ahmaud Arbery case highlights historical role of Black pastors

Minutes after three men in Brunswick, Georgia, were found guilty of killing jogger Ahmaud Arbery, the Rev. Al Sharpton led a large crowd gathered outside the Glynn County Courthouse in prayer. People closed their eyes and bowed their heads in unison when Sharpton said, “Let us pray.”

That quiet moment outside the courthouse, a day before Thanksgiving, came two weeks after hundreds of Black faith leaders from across the country rallied there to support Arbery’s family in defiance of defense attorney Kevin Gough, who represented one of the men on trial in Arbery’s shooting death in February 2020. Gough, reacting to Sharpton sitting in court with Arbery’s family, had told Judge Timothy Walmsley in early November that he didn’t want “any more Black pastors” in the courtroom lest they intimidate the jury.

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