It was a day in America no one can forget. The image of a black man on the ground. His words, “I can’t breathe,” embedded into the fabric of the world forever. A white officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd would do so until no life remained, but before being robbed of his last breath, he called out his mother’s name, who was already deceased. A moment that defined Floyd knew he would likely not escape alive.
Monday, June 8 was Floyd’s public memorial, and Tuesday, June 9, he was laid to rest at The Fountain of Praise in Houston, TX., the church’s leaders include Senior Pastor, Dr. Remus E. Wright, and Co-Pastor Mia K. Wright. “Remembering The Life of George ‘Perry’ Floyd” read the front of his obituary (booklet). Born in Fayetteville, NC in 1973, Floyd moved to Houston as a toddler with his family. He excelled in sports and would go on to play both football and basketball on a collegiate level.
Protest after protest ignited after that fateful day on Monday, May 25. From outside the state of Minneapolis where he resided to the U.S. and around the world, Floyd’s death created an aggregate of justice fueled energy backed by hashtags; #JusticeforFloyd, #GeorgeFloyd, #sayhishame, and #BlackLivesMatter. In remembering his life and legacy, he is quoted as saying he would be world-famous one day. What no one, more so his family, imagined is that it came as a result of his death, and their final goodbyes would be to a man who has stirred up a frenzy for CHANGE.
In a country so divided by racism, Floyd’s death added to a long list of men, women, and children of color who have died at the hands and, most recently, knees of police brutality. And in the middle of it all is the Coronavirus that already has America on edge. Then comes the disheartening fact that hate is still on the minds of racists even though thousands of people are dying daily as this vicious virus plagues our country. How can ill-intent officers fail to “Protect and Serve” citizens no matter the color of their skin? America and the rest of the world fighting injustice are fed up!! The language is spoken by black men and women who stood outside between a flurry of media to catch any glimpse of what was happening as family, friends, and loved ones drove up in motorcade formation before entering the building, where the Rev. Al Sharpton provided the eulogy. Many showed up, including notable celebrities like Neo, who sang a “Family Tribute” and Jamie Fox. Still, even they know the attention was not on them but for a bigger mission to voice that we (black) people and our allies have had ENOUGH—thoughts that rang true with a few of the people in the crowd around 250 media outlets. The conversation gathered included a man who was the only black policemen in a small town who faced ongoing discrimination by his fellow white officers. His advice to his sons and grandsons is always to obey the law. Another gentleman there said, “I was not always involved” in black movements such as Black Lives Matter, but plans to become more active even after news of Floyd’s death is not seen on television as much. One lady who is a mother and grandmother talked with us about the conversations she has with her family to keep everyone safe.
The Order of Service for Floyd’s funeral attended by 500 included Dignitarial remarks from Former Vice President Joe Biden, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, Congressmen Al Green, and Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner. A Sermonic Solo “For Every Mountain” sung by Minister Kurt Carr and ‘Family Expressions’ by Kathleen McGee, Brady Bob, and Travis Cains.
Eight minutes and 46 seconds took away George Floyd in the physical form, but he lives on. Sharpton says, “God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that’s going to change the whole wide world.” Floyd’s private service in Houston followed those in his birthplace of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the last place he lived in Minneapolis. As his gold casket exited the building and into the waiting Hearse, the large group of people surrounding shouted emphatically “George Floyd” and “Get off my neck!”
Rest in Peace, George Floyd.
Special Thanks to Lemon Lime Light Media
By Twins of Media
Photo credit: KPRC2 Houston