RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Tuesday marks a year since George Floyd’s murder. Although it happened in Minneapolis at the hands of a now-former police officer, the impact spread across the world.
George Floyd’s family in Raleigh calls the anniversary of his death a Day of Enlightenment because it opened people’s eyes and pushed them to change their communities for the better.
The mayor of Raleigh proclaimed Tuesday a Day of Enlightenment in memory of Floyd.
The world cannot forget Floyd’s final desperate moments.
“You see it from the beginning until he took his last breath — that was so devastating to the family it was devastating to a lot of people,” recalled his uncle, Roger Floyd, who lives in Raleigh.
In time, Roger Floyd, says their devastation prompted dialogue.
“People were awakened to what Black people have been talking about for hundreds of years, but in some instances, others didn’t know how to approach the conversation,” said Floyd. “It’s not always about being comfortable because so many things are uncomfortable, but you still have to engage in the dialogue and that’s how you break those barriers.”
Gerald Givens Jr., the president of Raleigh-Apex NAACP, said he’s seen positive changes come in the year since George Floyd’s murder.
“More people are aware of systemic racism,” said Givens. “We’ve had more than 30,000 people join the NAACP as a whole, and we’ve created all kinds of different coalitions of different types, training opportunities for the community and we’re doing the work that needs to be done.”
Leaders say there is still a lot of work to do, but they are not discouraged.
“We have to remain hopeful because of the progress that we’ve made,” said Givens. “You’re talking to a descendent of slaves, and you see up on my wall that’s the signature of the President of the United States, the first African-American president, so you have to remain hopeful.”
Roger Floyd says hope comes from understanding each other and working together.
On the anniversary of his nephew’s murder, he asks everyone to honor George Floyd in a simple way.
“Do something good for someone else, if it’s nothing but approaching someone and giving them a grandiose smile or opening the door for a loved one,” he said. “Visit someone at a nursing home. Open your heart to someone else.”
The “Enlightenment & Reflection Gallery” virtual event on Tuesday will allow people to reflect on how George Floyd’s story has changed them.
It takes place Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and registration is required. Click here to access the virtual event.