George Floyd Biography National Book Award Nominated Two Years After Murder
The National Book Foundation has announced the list of nominees for the 2022 National Book Award and a biography of the late George Floyd was among the non-fiction nominees just over two years after his murder.
George Floyd was killed in May 2020 when Derek Chauvin – a former Minneapolis police officer – pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for more than nine minutes while the 46-year-old black man repeatedly said that he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked global protests and debates about racial injustice and police brutality.
And now a recent biography of Floyd is among the nominees for the National Book Award.
His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Fight for Racial Justice was written by Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa. The book was released on May 17 this year, just eight days before the second anniversary of his death.
When the book was released, Olorunnipa said watching the video of his death, which was taken by a viewer and went viral in 2020 and contributed to Chauvin’s conviction, was even harder after so much research and writing about his life.
“It was hard to watch someone we had heard about in interviews and in different ways and through his own writings and through the research we had done on his American experience. Watching him die, even though we knew the end of the story when we started this research, it was difficult. It was emotional. It was painful to see,” Olorunnipa said according to Fox9.
He added: “And that’s what we hope people will feel the same way when they pick up the book. As they better understand the life of George Floyd, the things they saw on the video will have more meaning.”
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April last year and sentenced to 22½ years in prison.
His name is George Floyd is one of a slate of ten non-fiction candidates, including John A. Farrell Ted Kennedy: One Life, Natalie Hodges Unusual measure: a journey through music, performance and the science of time, and David Quammen Breathless: The scientific race to defeat a deadly virus.
In the fiction category, when we were sisters by Fatimah Asghar The bird catcher by Gayl Jones and The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Storiesby Jamil Jan Kochai are among the nominees. In poetry, Jay Hopler Still lifeby Sherry Shenoda Mummy eaters and The time of the break by Jenny Xie are in the running.
The National Book Foundation will name five finalists in each category on October 4, and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on November 16.
Newsweek contacted the National Book Foundation for additional comment.