Two years ago, protestors flooded streets in the U.S. and around the world to advocate for racial justice. They were protesting for a more fair criminal justice system, where innocent Black people weren’t being discriminated against and killed by the police.
Those protests became part of one of the biggest social movements this country has ever seen, as people screamed in favor of Black Lives Matter. Much of it started after the murder of George Floyd, a man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
A new book explores the life of George Floyd and how he was often set up to fail, due to America’s de facto discriminatory laws, policies and institutions.
“If you are concerned with the racism that revealed itself when Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, you should also consider the structures of racism that were consistently there in George Floyd’s life.”— Robert Samuels, The Washington Post
Listen: A new book explores the life of George Floyd.
Toluse Olorunnipa is the White House bureau chief for The Washington Post and co-author of the book “His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice.” He says that Floyd’s life was marked by a poverty that made it hard for him to climb out of.
“He had these dreams, he had these ambitions, he had the hope of escaping that poverty, but his entire family history is marked by a deep kind of poverty that comes from discrimination,” says Olorunnipa.
Robert Samuels is a national political enterprise reporter for The Washington Post and is a co-author of the same book. He says George Floyd’s life can’t be understood in a vacuum and demands zooming out to gain a clearer picture of the context in which he grew up.
“If you are concerned with the racism that revealed itself when Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, you should also consider the structures of racism that were consistently there in George Floyd’s life before he had ever met Derek Chauvin.”