8 minutes, 46 seconds


George Floyd was choked to death by a police officer who was assisted by three other police officers. Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own home, also by the police. Ahmaud Arbery was pursued and then executed by three White men who remained free for weeks. 

These events continue a long tradition of lynching that started 400 years ago, when the first West Africans were kidnapped and brought to these shores. All three murders are part of a larger, intentional pattern of unspeakable violence committed against Black people in this country. A pattern fueled by the omnipresent forces of White Supremacy and White Nationalism—forces that have been as much a part of the American reality as baseball and apple pie.

At Proteus, we acknowledge these to be truths. We work daily to confront and end these injustices. And so, we are outraged yes, but sadly we are not surprised by these most recent murders.

The resources we’ve compiled below—only a few of thousands available—are historical, interpretive and artistic voices reminding all of us that these pernicious forces were just as present in the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd’s life as they have been for 400 years. 

If we want to consign White Supremacy and White Nationalism to the dustbin of history, we must stop simply hoping and praying and understanding when yet another tragedy occurs. That means more listening and less talking. That means acting whether or not “racial justice” is part of your mission statement. And that means pursuing strategies that aren’t considered “safe,” taking risks that may not always succeed, and funding tactics that simply cannot be ignored. 

In solidarity,

Paul Di Donato
President & CEO
Proteus Fund and Proteus Action League
New York, NY