A Brother’s Story

A Brother’s Story

By Terrence Floyd with Dimitri Ehrlich

Photo credit: David Lipman
  • Title: A Brother’s Story by Terrence Floyd with Dimitri Ehrlich
  • Genre: Non-Fiction | Memoir
  • Language: English

Over the course of 12 months George Floyd’s name went from unknown to iconic, a symbol of all that is wrong with racial injustice in America. But behind the headlines, protests, and drama of the trial that led to the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for Floyd’s murder, there is another story. A personal intimate tale of a brother’s love and loss. A story that until now, has never been told.

Terrence Floyd, George’s younger brother, grew up in the gritty inner city of East New York in the 1980s and early 90s, when crack was ravaging neighborhoods, and long before Brooklyn became a brand.

Terrence was always aware that he had a big brother named George, and the two shared common career paths, both dabbling in the music industry and working in security. But it wasn’t until 2016 that Terrence and George Floyd truly connected for the first time and began to forge the deep personal bonds of brotherhood. It was a relationship that would continue to evolve and deepen over the years, and a love that continues to this day, despite George’s tragic murder on May 25th, 2020.

This is a story told from the point of view of a brother who knew and loved George Floyd. It’s a perspective only Terrence can share. It is a story of loss and pain, but not a message of anger or a call for revenge. Ultimately, Terrence’s story is a message of hope.

As George Floyd became a hashtag and his death reignited a movement, Terrence continued to grieve, but Terrence also began to formulate plans to make sense of the tragedy, by creating a foundation that would provide support and legal services to his community.
As a nation united in anger, taking to the streets to challenge law enforcement’s disproportionate use of force, Terrence was thrust unwillingly into the spotlight. While he became a spokesperson, and a public face for the Floyd family, he remains first of all, a grieving brother.

In the midst of his public grief, Terrence created the We Are Floyd Foundation, a new non-profit organization with a message for America’s disenfranchised Black and brown youth: hope is on the way. Terrence began this organization while the tears over the murder of his brother still ran hot. But from the outset the motivation has always been constructive engagement based on a belief in our higher angels. The book will explain how the foundation is dedicated not only to George’s personal example of individual transformation and salvation but to the recognition of a universal potential in all children of color.

Photo: Terrence with his son, Amaree, and his brother George Floyd Jr. (family archive).

Part of “A Brother’s Story” will of course be devoted to the aftermath of George’s murder and Terrence’s experience of the trial, culminating on April 20, when Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. “When that guilty verdict was read, I felt like we were seeing history made,” Terrence says. “My mind was blown because, I’m 44 so I’ve seen Eric Garner, I’ve seen Sean Bell, I’ve seen Rodney King. I’ve seen all these cases where they let the police go free. It goes all the way back to Emmett Till. You see change on a personal level but then you see a cultural change.”

Ultimately, “A Brother’s Story” will give readers a firsthand glimpse into the meaning of George Floyd’s life, and a chance to know him as a person, not merely a symbol or catalyst, but as a brother.

Dimitri Ehrlich is the author of Inside the Music: Conversations with Musicians about Creativity, Spirituality and Consciousness (Shambala/Random House) and with his brother Gregor Ehrlich, the co-author of Move the Crowd: Voices and Faces of the Hip-Hop Nation (MTV Books/Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster). Dimitri wrote a chapter in the Dave Eggers’ anthology: Shiny Adidas Tracks: The
Best of Might Magazine (Putnam Berkley) and with his brother Gregor Ehrlich and Anna Gabriel, co-authored the upcoming Eye-D (Rizzoli)

Dimitri is also an Emmy Award nominated television producer and was head writer of VH1 Hip-Hop Honors, BET: Haiti Hurricane Benefit, NBC: The Source: All Access, and for MTV, Choose or Lose: Vote or Die with P. Diddy, the Shady National Convention with Eminem, House Party with 50 Cent and Life And Rhymes: 50 Cent/Kanye West.

His writing has also appeared in the New York Times. Rolling Stone. Spin. Details. Vibe. Self. London Observer. London Daily Telegraph. New York Magazine. Mademoiselle. Complex. Arena Homme Plus. Interview Magazine, where he was an editor for many years.

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