ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - One of the most notable cases drawing national attention last year was the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
It happened in Brunswick, under a law Gov. Brian Kemp hopes to change.
“We don’t need to have modern day vigilantism on the streets of our state. I think we were all mortified by the viral video down in the Ahmaud Arbery case down in Brunswick, Georgia. The citizen’s arrest statute is a Civil War-era statute. It’s very outdated, so we’re going to repeal that,” Kemp said.
Some say this comes at a crucial time for Black Americans in our state.
“I’m very proud of my state for sending me and John Ossoff to serve at this defining moment in American history,” Raphael Warnock, Georgia U.S. senator, said.
Warnock made history this year as Georgia’s first Black senator and the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the U.S. Senate.
He said the moment meant more than anything he could have imagined.
“My mother, who grew up picking cotton in the 1950s in Waycross, Georgia got to pick her youngest son to be a United States senator that is the grand and complex story of America,” Warnock said.
An America that’s seen the harsh realities of slavery and injustice and now some change.
The work does not stop today.
“Georgia’s got a great story to tell. Just from some of the leaders we’ve had here. We’ve certainly seen a lot of that in the last couple of years. We’ve lost a lot of our prominent African-American leaders, especially when you think about Congressman John Lewis, Hank Aaron and many modern-day heroes,” Kemp said.
Those heroes are ones Kemp said he’ll always be grateful for.
“I remember watching the Braves. Hank Aaron and Ralph Garr, a lot of other great folks over the years. And Hank Aaron made a big input as well on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as Dr. King and certainly Congressman Lewis. And they should be honored, it’s a big part of our state’s history. It’s the Georgia that we are today, and we’ve all learned and continue to move forward as a state,” Kemp said.
Also working to honor and keep the legacy of Black Americans in the state, Rep. Carl Gilliard.
He’s proposing new legislation to honor the first 33 Black state legislators to the Georgia General Assembly.