Who was George Floyd?

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Who was George Floyd?

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Who was George Floyd? If you live in the Twin Cities, myself (and countless others) have spent the last year thinking of him daily. It almost feels like he's watching us. As the Chauvin trial aims to paint Floyd negatively, I feel it's important to honor him and share what I've learned about his life.

A short IG caption doesn't do enough to fully give Floyd's story justice, but these are pieces of his life I've been intrigued by and want to learn more about. If I'm missing or incorrect on something, please drop it in the comments.

George Floyd was born in North Carolina and grew up in Houston, Texas' Third Ward, a predominantly Black neighborhood in the city. His mother, a single parent, moved the family to the Third Ward when he was 2, so she could find work.

At 6 feet, 6 inches, Floyd developed as a star tight end for Jack Yates High School and played in the 1992 state championship game in the Houston Astrodome. With dreams of turning pro, he attended South Florida State College on a partial scholarship.

After two years there, Floyd spent a year at Texas A&M University before returning to Houston and his mother’s apartment to find jobs in construction and security. While there, he ended up bouncing between jobs before serving nearly five years in prison.

Floyd was also a musician, he occasionally was invited to rap with DJ Screw, a producer whose music is recognized as cementing Houston as a stronghold for hip-hop. He performed as a rapper using the stage name Big Floyd in a hip hop group, Screwed Up Click.

As a father looking to provide for his five children and find a fresh start, Floyd moved to Minneapolis. One of his first jobs was working as a security guard at the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center -- the city’s largest homeless shelter. Floyd kept his connection to Houston, regularly returning to the Third Ward before his death.


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This item was submitted on April 3, 2021 by Dana Bell using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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