His Name Is George Floyd

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Who was George Floyd? What did he hope for? What was life like for him? And why has his death been the catalyst for such a powerful global response?

The murder of George Floyd sparked a fiery summer of activism and unrest all over the world in 2020, with peaceful protests sometimes erupting into violent clashes. From Shetland to Sao Paolo, from Honolulu to Hobart, people marched under the Black Lives Matter banner, decrying Floyd’s death and demanding an end to racial injustice. The movement has led corporations to redouble their efforts, universities to refocus on inclusion, and government officials to examine the causes of systemic inequality.

Drawing on The Washington Post‘s unrivalled archives, in-depth reporting and award-winning series on Floyd, His Name Is George Floyd is a definitive biography that dives deep into the myriad ways that structural racism shaped Floyd’s life and death. Telling his personal story within the context of America’s troubled race history, it features fresh and exclusive reporting as well as unparalleled access to Floyd’s family and the people who were closest to the man whose name has become one of the most recognized on the planet.

By zooming in for an intimate portrait of this one, emblematic life, while also pulling back to profile the institutions that shaped it, the authors deliver a powerful exploration of institutional racism and of a public reckoning of unprecedented breadth and intensity.

© Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Since we know George Floyd’s death with tragic clarity, we must know Floyd’s America – and life – with tragic clarity. His Name Is George Floyd is essential for our times.

    Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist
  • A wondrous feat of vivid writing and deep reporting, from the way it leads the reader through George Floyd’s final fateful day on earth to its masterly account of Floyd’s hopes and frustrations in the larger context of race in America.

    David Maraniss, author of Barack Obama: The Story
  • We have come to know George Floyd as a symbol but have known little of George Floyd the man. In a monumental work of reporting and storytelling, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa reveal who George Floyd was in life, and the extent to which his death was the result not just of the callous choices of a single police officer but of four hundred years of societal decisions to devalue Black life.

    Wesley Lowery, author of They Can't Kill Us All: The Story of the Struggle for Black Lives
  • A sobering, deeply intimate account of George Floyd’s life and all that he had to carry and contend with as a Black man coming of age in America. In a remarkable feat of reporting, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa help us come to know Floyd as a full, rich, complicated human being.

    Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
  • A much-needed portrait of the life, times, and martyrdom of George Floyd, a chronicle of the racial awakening sparked by his brutal and untimely death, and an essential work of history I hope everyone will read.

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of The Black Church

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