Wednesday marks the two year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. His death sparked a global movement demanding an end to systemic racism but the details of his life are less well-known. Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa tell Floyd’s story in their new biography, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life And The Struggle For Racial Justice. Samuels and Olorunnipa join us to fill in the details of Floyd’s life, including his enslaved sharecropping ancestors in North Carolina, his childhood in a racially segregated Houston, growing up in a loving and poor family, his struggle with drug addiction and his multiple arrests, and the ways in which racism derailed and impeded his dreams and success.
The Washington Post, Telling George Floyd’s story gave us a deeper understanding of racism – “Before reporting this book, I considered systemic racism to be an unmoving, dark cloud that hung over us. As I watched life unfurl for these families, I understood that the residue of America’s original sin was something more terrifying.”
The Washington Post, How George Floyd Spent His Final Hours – An exclusive excerpt from “His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice” re-creates the day leading up to the murder.