Texas Southern University Offers Scholarship to George Floyd’s Daughter, Gianna
A Houston university has announced plans to fund a scholarship for Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd.
In a Facebook status posted Wednesday, Texas Southern University officials said the school's board and the TSU Foundation Board have approved a fund to provide a full scholarship for Gianna, and will prepare a place for her at TSU should she choose to attend.
Gianna's father grew up in Houston's Third Ward, colloquially known as "the Bricks". He played football and basketball at Yates High School, and helped lead the school's football team to state in 1992.
In the mid-90's, Floyd collaborated with famed Houston musician DJ Screw, and was part of a movement that brought Houston-area hip-hop to the mainstream. A freestyle of his was featured on a tape released by DJ Screw in 1996 titled Sittin' on Top of the World'.
After a series of legal issues, including arrests for drug possession and imprisonment for pleading guilty to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, Floyd got involved with Resurrection Houston, a church working to improve conditions in the Third Ward.
Floyd eventually moved to Minneapolis to start a new life, and worked there as a truck driver and a bouncer.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the rest of the story. Floyd was detained by police on May 25, 2020 on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a Minneapolis grocery store. An officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, used his knee to hold Floyd's neck to the ground for nearly 9 minutes, which resulted in Floyd's death.
Video of the incident sparked outrage, protests, and riots across the nation calling for officials to get serious about addressing police brutality and the methods used to subdue suspects. In some cases, protesters have even called for police departments to be de-funded or dismantled entirely.
Whatever your stance on what should be done to reform policing in the U.S., it's clear that Floyd's death could prove to be a major turning point for our nation.
For his children, it's far more personal. They've lost their father, and are suddenly at the center of worldwide attention.
Whether Gianna accepts TSU's offer when she's grown or continues her education elsewhere, I have no doubt the experience of losing her dad and watching the world change rapidly and drastically as a result of that tragedy will be the driving force in who she becomes as an adult. She certainly has countless people in her corner.
PHOTOS: Protests around the world in the wake of George Floyd's death