How Post journalists reported on George Floyd’s life and legacy

The intersection of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street, also known as George Floyd Square, in Minneapolis in April 2021. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

After millions watched the horrific video of a Black man suffocating under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the world learned the name of George Floyd. But far fewer know about the 46 years he spent striving to survive in America.

In “His Name is George Floyd: One’s Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice,” Washington Post journalists Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa pull back the curtain on Floyd’s life and legacy — documenting his family roots in slavery and sharecropping, his struggles navigating a variety of unequal systems, from housing to education to criminal justice and the ongoing movement to change those systems.

The book draws from more than 400 interviews with sources ranging from Floyd’s friends and family to President Biden. An excerpt, published in Washington Post Magazine, includes exclusive details about Floyd’s last day.

Building on a six-part series produced by The Post after Floyd’s death, the authors spent more than a year reporting and researching as they sought to answer two essential questions: Who was George Floyd? And what was it like to live in his America?

Read an excerpt from “His Name is George Floyd: One’s Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice” here. Samuels and Olorunnipa will discuss the book during a Washington Post Live event on May 17.

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