George Floyd’s mother was not there, but he used her as a sacred invocation
With his dying breaths, Floyd called for her as an assurance of memory
The video frame of George Floyd on Facebook, handcuffed on his stomach as a Minneapolis police officer presses his knee into Floyd’s neck, feels narrowed.
Floyd lies immobilized, groaning on the pavement as cars rush by, police radios beep and bystanders gather, yelling that Floyd’s nose is bleeding, that he is subdued, cursing and entreating the officers. “Let him breathe, man!” one bystander yelled.
“Please, man!” Floyd begs as he is ground into the pavement. His pleas mix with the ambient noises around him. They are the disjointed sounds from the clash of belief systems and competing visions of sovereignty, of ownership, of authority over black bodies compressed into the narrow frame of Floyd’s last moments.
“Momma!” Floyd, 46, calls out. “Momma!