Change can happen in a number of ways. One of the ways is a single moment that catalyzes a movement and forces change.
That moment was the murder of George Floyd two years ago. It forced all of us to open our eyes to the structural racism that has plagued this nation and limited African-Americans for centuries. His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, was published earlier this month. The book not only traces Floyd’s life, it tells the story of how structural racism affected his family going back generations.
We get to know the man behind the image. He was a sweet, intelligent person who loved his family and had ambitions beyond what was expected of him. Had Floyd (whose family knew him as Perry) not been limited simply because of his skin color, Floyd might have done great things with his life. But, as we all know, his life was cut short in a tragic and horrific manner.
I think this book is a necessary read for all of us. It is a condemnation of all of us who were previously unable or unwilling to take off our blinders. It is a reminder that hate kills. There is no going back and undoing what has been done. We can only move forward and do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.
Do I recommend it? Without a doubt. I would not be surprised if it was not only on the bestseller list for a long time to come, but also on many “best-of” lists by the end of the year.
His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice is available wherever books are sold.
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