White parishioners have prayed for forgiveness after ‘years and years of systematic racism’ as they gathered in the area where George Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas.
Protests and vigils have taken across the country in the past as outraged viewers of video that captured his death at the hands of police in Minneapolis demand justice.
Floyd’s death at 46 has also sparked conversation around the numerous killings of African Americans by law enforcement and white people, so during a vigil at the Cuney Homes in the Third Ward, gatherers knelt in prayer.
‘Father God we asked for forgiveness from our black brothers and sisters for years and years of racism,’ one man is heard saying as a group of white locals kneel in front of a group of black parishioners.
They called it a ‘praytest’ to distinguish themselves from violence happening in other parts of the country as people protest the fatal treatment of black suspects compared to the likes of white mass murderers.
In another clip captured by Fox News, a Caucasian man is heard saying with his eyes closed and his hand on his chest: ‘Pray for my white, black and brown brothers and sisters who have had the courage to expose blatant racism in my own heart.’
‘We pray that black men and women to be free from fear and hopelessness,’ one parishioner commented.
In a video obtained by Click 2 Houston, the black attendees were seen crying and responding by kneeling down to pray with them. They stood under a canopy as heavy rain beat down around them.
‘We need to show a symbol that we truly do apologize for what’s been done to our black brothers and sisters. With Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, it tore us apart and I thought we’re going to take a knee to unite us,’ co-organizer Bobby ‘Trey 9’ Herring told Fox 26.
‘I think there’s a sentiment that his mission was misunderstood. Here we are today when police kneel on a black man’s neck – which do we prefer? That or for us to kneel in peace and solidarity,’ co-organizer, Johnny Gentry, lead pastor at Free Indeed Church said.
The praytest took place in the neighborhood where Floyd grew up playing hoops. In the neighborhood he was known as ‘Big Floyd’ and took part in community outreach to better the lives of young people and spread ministry. Locals remember him for hosting basketball games, throwing barbecues and Bible study groups.
‘When you look at the diversity here and people’s hearts here, that’s a reflection of the city of Houston. That’s a reflection of people’s true hearts,’ Bobby ‘Trey 9’ Herring, the founder of the non-profit organization ‘Eyes On Me’ told Fox 26.
Nearby the Houston Police Chief came to support people marching through the Third Ward in Floyd’s memory as part of a gathering organized by rapper Trae the Truth.
The rapper said in an Instagram post that he appreciated the support from local cops and said they had offered a motorcade for Floyd’s funeral.
‘Hearing The Police Chief @artacevedo Speak Up For The People And Minorities And Speak Out About Bad Officers And Racist People The Way He Did Today and Puttin His Job To The Side To March With Us Meant Alot …
‘I Can Honestly Say He One Of The Few Who Stands For What Right!!! And He Also Decide To Give The Family A Police Motorcade For George Floyd Funeral To Have Him Layed To Rest… We Will Say His Name.. #GeorgeFloyd Salute!! Love,’ he said.