Religious leaders, artists honor George Floyd in concert

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People celebrate as the verdict is announced in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021. – Sacked police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter on april 20 in the death of African-American George Floyd in a case that roiled the United States for almost a year, laying bare deep racial divisions. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) — Religious leaders, musical guests, spoken word artists and politicians gathered for a concert in Houston, the home town of George Floyd, to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Pastors Remus E. Wright and Mia K. Wright welcomed the Floyd family on Sunday at The Fountain of Praise, a church that held one of his funeral services, and more than 450 live viewers on Facebook.

“It’s been an incredible year and a very emotional year, so much grief and loss, so much angst and anxiety, worldwide protests, the insurrection at the Capitol, but I guarantee you one thing — that none of us will forget May 25, 2020, the day that George Floyd’s life was taken from us,” Mia Wright said.

Floyd, who was Black, died last year after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for about 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd pleaded for air. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests and calls for change in policing in the U.S. Chauvin was fired after Floyd died and was later convicted of murder and manslaughter in his death.

“The tragedy of his murder becomes even more profound as your strength in seeking justice sparked a reckoning too long overdue,” voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams said of the Floyd family.

Among the guests were Democratic politicians U.S. Rep. Al Green, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Vice Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Castex-Tatum and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and musical guests Trae Tha Truth, Grammy-nominated artists Gene Moore Jr. and Major and Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Tamela Mann.

The concert being held by the George Floyd Foundation is among events being held across the nation to mark the anniversary. The foundation was launched by Floyd’s siblings in his honor to help combat racial inequities in Black and brown communities.

“On behalf of our family, we thank you for lending your voices tonight, but also for the past year which has been a landmark movement in our nation and the world,” George Floyd Foundation President and Floyd’s first cousin Shareeduh McGee said, thanking every celebrity, athlete, politician, artist, pastor educator, media personalities, corporations and more. “Tonight, we say thank you.”

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Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd

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