Oprah recently reached loving hand out to Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, in what has been the hardest two months of her life.
Cooper-Jones confirmed the gesture to TMZ, saying she was in disbelief when she heard the media-mogul’s voice over the phone. Cooper-Jones also said Oprah would be sending a package in the mail, but wouldn’t give specifics.
On Friday, which would’ve been his 26th birthday, participants across the globe walked 2.23 miles in honor of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by two white men during a routine jog on February 23.
2.23 miles represents the day Arbery was killed. Many used the hashtag #IRunWithMaud, contemplating what may have come of the young man had his life not been prematurely taken.
As the solemn demonstrations continued, Oprah posted an Instagram video on Friday of her walking with partner Stedman Graham and two mentees.
“Today would’ve been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday,” began Oprah’s May 8 post. “But he’s not here to celebrate because he was senselessly shot and killed doing something to make his life healthier and stronger. He went out for a jog while being Black.”
In the message Oprah continues, saying she reached out to Arbery’s mother Cooper-Jones, not able to understand the weight of her “unimaginable” loss.
“I spoke with his mom Wanda yesterday who says she feels better now that the two men have finally been arrested. But they were only arrested because WE saw the video. Today people everywhere walked 2.23 miles in the name of Ahmaud and Justice. We did 2.26 in honor of his 26th birthday,” she concluded.
In a separate interview with TMZ, Cooper-Jones confirmed that she wants each person involved in the death of her son to go to jail for life. Her comments come as William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who captured the video leading to the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael, enters the spotlight. Social media users voiced suspicion regarding Bryan’s participation in the event leading to Arbery’s death. Bryan maintains he was not involved, and in several news interviews has declined to divulge any details.