- ABOUT US
“My grandfather told us from the jump, ‘Don’t ever let color separate you from anything. Don’t the color of green get you into any kind of trouble with another color but always accept another color besides your color and because we can all be a family together. Don’t worry about whoever it is that hates your color. You were born this color for a reason and wear it with pride.’ That’s what I’ve been doing since that day. I’m not afraid to speak my mind because I’m black. I just pay attention to my surroundings at all times at 110% level.”
To start, we address the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man in Georgia who was fatally gunned down by two white men while jogging near his home. Arbery was killed on Feb. 23. A legal argument from a district attorney, who later recused himself from the case, follows and says that no one should be arrested. However, after the 36-second video footage of the shooting is made public, outrage follows and the two men are eventually arrested. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Harlem Run founder Alison Desir (who was a guest on this podcast) expressed her frustration with the lack of coverage by the sports and running media. Following her Instagram post, coverage ramped up and Arbery’s face was posted everywhere. Desir wrote the following essay for Outside Magazine.
This is an issue that is certainly important and underscores that we could all do better about having and acting on these conversations.
Our guest for this episode is Coffey. He is a father, husband, filmmaker, Nike running pacer and the founder of Define New York Run Club. This conversation was on our schedule before the Arbery shooting but we take the first half of our talk to address the story, its impact on him and how he relates to the likes of Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. We go back to his roots in North Carolina, how he got his start in fashion and filmmaking, why he got hooked on group running and then ultimately starting his own group.
You may have seen him on recent episodes of ‘For Life’ but his big project has been the short film “About the People” which hosts a very powerful and honest conversation about social justice and inequalities by black and brown men at the hands of police brutality. Coffey was one of the writers on the film and drew some inspiration from the conversations he’s had to have with his oldest son on police brutality.
This is Runners of NYC. A podcast from CITIUS MAG. Hosts Leigh Anne Sharek and Chris Chavez look to bring you many of the untold stories behind luminaries and legends that make up New York City’s running culture. You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Spotify!
From our conversation with Coffey…
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