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The Commitment of Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds; Honoring George Floyd at His Home Coming
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published June 4, 2020

George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis (Screen Shot)

The world stood for eight minutes and forty-six seconds in honor of George Floyd. It felt long and drawn out, aligning with how long Floyd was held on the ground with a knee to his neck. Today there was a memorial service that aired on multiple news channels, authentically showing the black community grieving over a life that was unjustly taken. Political leaders and spiritual guidance affirmed Big Floyd’s homecoming; close friends and families gathered to find comfort in one another as George Floyd lay to rest. In the streets, diverse groups stood in reflection of the murders that happened similar to the injustice on May 25. The memory of George Floyd has been ingrained in American history as the moment of exhale for change and reform.

Terrence Floyd addressed the crowds on behalf of his brother. George always looked to lift someone up; he would want to see the marches done in peace. Terrance spoke directly to those looking to cause violence and told them to relax. In unison with the memorial service happening in Minneapolis, there was a march with more than 4,000 people in New York that journeyed across the Brooklyn Bridge. The energy was felt across the land, in support of the family who prepared to say their goodbyes to Big Floyd. Movements also took place in Houston, where George came from, and in North Carolina to commemorate the resting day for the Floyd house.

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Shareeduh Tate, George Floyd’s Cousin (Screen Shot)

At the memorial service in Minneapolis, the mayor of the city, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and other political leaders joined the Floyd family in George’s Homecoming. Entertainers and influencers like Kevin Hart, Ludacris, Tyreese, Tiffany Haddish attended the service in support. Many activist groups including Grass Roots and NAACP were present at the memorial service in Minneapolis to pay their respects. The service blanketed all the hurt and pain that has been spreading from the outside world and comforted those who needed to heal. Learning about George Floyd’s life, starting at his time in Houston where he loved football, he moved to Minneapolis where he reflected peace and positivity.

Hundreds of people stood outside the North Central University campus where the service was being held, to pay respects to Big Floyd. Due to the current pandemic, space was limited and the memorial for Big Floyd was a very intimate gathering. Reverend Jerry McAfee opened the homecoming with a bible scripture from Psalms 27, “The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? … Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.” The President of the campus Scott Hagan offered a prayer and announced a scholarship in honor of George Floyd. Liwana Porter followed with a serenade of Amazing Grace as the masses listened in solemn quietness.

Lead Attorney of George Floyd’s case Ben Crump (Screen Shot)

The Lead Attorney representing George Floyd spoke at the homecoming, Ben Crump ensured there is a whole team of lawyers working to bring justice to this case. Crump mentioned another type of pandemic that are taking lives. “That other pandemic that we are far to familiar with in America, that pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd.”  Family of the departed came and stood at the podium, to speak about the man that was just taken from their world. Philonise Floyd (brother) , Rodney Floyd (youngest brother), Shareeduh Tate (Cousin) , Brandon Williams (Nephew) spoke from the heart, referring to their beloved George as Perry, an alpha male who welcomed everybody no matter the background. Lead Attorney Ben Crump followed their words by stating, “What we saw in that video was torture, what we saw on that video was inhumane, what we saw in that video was evil,” Crump declared we cannot cooperate with torture, inhumane behavior, or evil.

American Activist Reverend Al Sharpton (Screen Shot)

Reverend Al Sharpton closed the service, “ When I stood in that spot, the reason it got to me is George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks, because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee was on our necks.” He brought awareness between “those calling for peace and those calling for quiet.” Those who are seeking peace are standing for change, but there are some just looking to pacify the situation, so the black community continues suffering in silence. Sharpton talked about accountability in the justice system, he feels that this time and season there is more energy towards change, it is the season for progress among policing and protection for all Americans.

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