Though it was a solemn occasion, The Fountain of Praise Church in southern Houston was filled with joyous music and words of fond remembrance for a kind and gifted man, whose savage death galvanized a worldwide movement.
Politicians, civil rights activists and celebrities joined in sharing memories of the man they called a “gentle giant” before his golden casket was to be conveyed by horse-drawn carriage to his final resting place by his mother’s grave.
Family and friends gathered to lay George Floyd to rest in his hometown of Houston on Tuesday, with poignant tributes capping the long farewell to the 46-year-old African American whose death ignited global protests against police brutality and racism.
“George Floyd changed the world. And we are going to make the world know that he made a difference,” Al Green, the local US congressman, told the congregation.
“We have a responsibility to each one of them to make sure that we do not walk away today after having celebrated his life and not taking the next step… to assure the future generations that this won’t happen again,” he added.
Floyd died on May 25 as a white Minneapolis officer pressed a knee into his neck for almost nine minutes, his pleas of “I can’t breathe” becoming a rallying cry for protesters.