In this series, I re-imagine the lives of Black folks gone too soon.
#BlackHistoryReimagined, Day 25: George Floyd was born on October 14, 1973, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but he grew up in Houston, Texas. While in high school Floyd used his large stature to dominate sports as the co-captain of the basketball team playing as a power forward and as a tight end on the football team. Upon graduating in 1993, he became the first of his siblings to attend college when he ventured off to South Florida Community College on a football scholarship where he also played basketball. He transferred after two years to Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he played basketball. He dropped out and returned to Houston and worked as an automotive customizer. He also began a rap career under the moniker, Big Floyd, with the group Screwed Up Click before later joining Presidential Playas. He also continued to play basketball at a variety of adult leagues. After several bouts of legal troubles and while working through an ongoing substance abuse addiction, Floyd dedicated himself to service and ministry where he mentored younger men, delivered meals to senior citizens, and volunteered with charity projects and drug rehabilitation and job placement services. In 2014, he relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he sought to better his life. There he worked as a security guard at a Salvation Army shelter while he also trained to become a commercial truck driver. He later quit his training to work security at a nightclub. His troubles with addiction, however, followed him. At the top of the COVID-19 pandemic, Floyd lost his job and he also contracted the illness shortly thereafter but recovered that same month.
On May 25, 2020, just a few weeks after losing his job, Floyd attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. When the clerk surmised that the bill was fake, he refused to sell Floyd the groceries and had him kicked out of the store. The pandemic had caused a shortage of available jobs, however, the truck driving industry had not suffered, so Floyd returned to truck driving school. Once he was able to begin working, it was on the long routes that he had time to sit with his thoughts. He decided that it was time to totally kick his ongoing substance abuse addictions and utilize that drive to continue the ministry and mentoring work he had begun in Houston. Marrying these concepts to his love for sports, Floyd relocated to Houston and partnered with his old church group to offer an adult sporting league, primarily focusing on football and basketball for those battling substance abuse to channel their addictive behaviors into sports instead. He later used some of his earnings to return to college where he spent two more years completing his degree in sociology. He intends to continue working from the things he loves to encourage those in need to pursue better and more self-sufficient lives.
[#BlackHistoryReimagined is a series of posts that re-imagines the lives of Black folks gone too soon, by writing a story that does not end in their deaths. Throughout this month, I implore you to go on this imaginary journey with me and think of what could have been. The stories are based on the people’s real lives; the ending has been altered to allow them to live out whatever they were actually working on or could have done had they been given more time on earth.]