Jamal James is the WBA Welterweight boxing champion. He’s also a child of Minneapolis who lives and works in the city. His nickname is “Shango” but on May 25th, 2020, his name could have easily been George Floyd.
You see, James lives a few blocks away from the spot where Floyd was murdered by now convicted police officer, Derek Chauvin.
“I jog by that store every day. That could have been me,” James said to me.
Across the globe, horrified viewers watched Floyd’s murder and subsequent ignition of protests and social unrest. In Minneapolis, his death sparked pockets of violence across the city.
But it also brought the rapidly diversifying city together. African American, white, Somali, Latino and others, they all came together to demand change in a police system that gave rise to officers like Chauvin.
For the child of Minneapolis, it was an emotional call that James quickly answered.
The 32-year-old boxer and his inner circle took action. The gym where they trained was turned into a temporary food bank.
Yet this wasn’t something new. James has always been invested in his community, his city, and his state.
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