Famed filmmaker Spike Lee presented Darnella Frazier with an award for courage after she recorded the killing of George Floyd.
Footage of Floyd’s death served as a catalyst for the revitalized Black Lives Matter movement. Frazier was the woman who captured the deeply troubling footage of a police officer kneeling across his neck for reportedly eight-plus minutes.
Frazier was honoured for her bravery with a PEN America virtual gaga on Tuesday. Lee virtually presented Frazier with the award.
“I never would’ve imagined out of my whole 17 years of living that this’ll be me,” Frazier said after receiving the award, per NBC. “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 said, sobbing. “It is so traumatizing.”
Frazier, a Minneapolis high school senior, was honoured by the literary and human rights organization along with other activists, artists and former president Barack Obama.
“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,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel in a statement.
“Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and well-being, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder.”