Book Review

His Name is George Floyd – The hard life and sad death of one man who became a civil rights icon

Murdered in Minneapolis in May 2020 by a police officer, George Floyd became an emblem of a community’s refusal to accept state oppression. A new book looks at the man behind the symbolism

A mural honouring George Floyd in Houston, Texas. Picture: Getty

When George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, the world turned its eyes to Minneapolis in horror. What followed were mass protests, difficult conversations and calls for a complete overhaul of the United States justice system.

Statues were felled and curfews introduced as we witnessed a true civil rights movement playing out for the first time online. The reckoning spanned news media, celebrity culture and academic establishments. Some thought that American society might change, ...