Floyd: How the Name Resonated Historic Change Every Time it's Spelled Out

The surname 'Floyd' has quite a legacy of commonality, the word will be recounted in history with a war-cry 'I can't breathe' as a reflection of pain and anger

The word 'Floyd' will be recounted in history with a war-cry "I can't breathe," uttered by George Floyd after the knee of a police officer pressed his neck, leading to his death. He didn't know that his war-cry was really a call that would be resounded worldwide.

'Floyd,' as the dictionary says, is a surname meaning 'gray-haired,' derived from the Welsh name 'Lloyd.' The surname name has quite a legacy of commonality.

The recent one created after thousands of people walked in protest along Roosevelt Avenue of New York City on May 31, which later spread throughout the world. Coronavirus social distancing measures were forgotten in the face of this name 'Floyd,' representing the voice against inequality and discrimination.

George Floyd, Change the World
'Time to Change The World,' by a Naples based artist Twitter/@doyutiful

However, 'Floyd' is also etched in history. "I can't breathe" were the same words after which Eric Garner, another black man who died after an officer used a chokehold on him, in 2014.

Plaintiff Against NYC

Back in 2013, it was a leading plaintiff in a case against New York City known as Floyd v. City of New York after a class action suit filed on behalf of the minority civilians of the city by David Ourlicht and yet another 'Floyd' named David Floyd.

They alleged that the NYPD had employed unconstitutional stop and frisk practices during Bloomberg's Mayoral administration in 2008. Such activity on Black and Hispanic neighborhoods was based on racial composition rather than legitimate factors, alleged the plantiff.

Pink Floyd's Symbolism

The famous band would have been called "Tea Set" if another band in the same name had not existed. This led Syd Barrett to name the band he co-founded as 'Pink Floyd' after two African-American blues guitarists cum singers, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, yet another 'Floyd.'

Pink Anderson and Floyd Council
African-American Artists, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council Pinterest

Council was active between the 1920s and late 1960s, while inspiring the celebrated band of non-black persons, symbolizing unity of not only white and black but even pink, leaving us with an idea that colors don't matter.

Reflection of Pain and Anger

Gustavo Espinoza, a Pressenza reporter, explained in a piece that Floyd wasn't an isolated event but a part of systematic unfairness. "Floyd's death adds to the phenomenon of the pandemic where the African and Latin American communities have been hit the hardest."

It also reflected the pain and anger of the unemployed, homeless, and those in debt along with witnessing abuse of power. "Because of this outrage, people are protesting against discrimination, violence that is not only physical but also economical because the system doesn't cover the basic needs," he adds.

Espinoza said that it looked like a contradiction witnessing the government's response to such problems, as it used a "police force that looks like an army."

This article was first published on June 4, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus
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