The teen who filmed George Floyd's tragic murder in May, Darnella Frazier, 17, was just presented with an award for her courage. While recording the video subsequently resulted in personal consequences, like having to seek therapy, it ultimately sparked a necessary worldwide anti-racism movement. For that, she was awarded with the 2020 PEN/Benenson Freedom of Expression Courage Award during Tuesday evening's PEN America Virtual Gala. 

Renowned film director, Spike Lee, presented Frazier with the award, and commemorated her ability to film the deeply disturbing incident from beginning to end, as those 10 minutes of recording eventually reverberated an important message around the world. PEN America CEO, Suzanne Nossel, also praised the Minneapolis teen for her "exceptional courage."

"With nothing more than a cell phone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police," Nossel said in a statement. "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."

After receiving the award, Frazier explained that the events that transpired this year following her recording were nothing like she could have ever imagined. "I never would've imagined out of my whole 17 years of living that this'll be me," she said. "It's just a lot to take in, but I couldn't say thank you enough for everything that's been coming towards me. Everybody’s asking me how do I feel? I don’t know how to feel, ‘cause it’s so sad, bro," she added through her tears. "It is so traumatizing."

[via]