The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Trans Official Andrea Jenkins Sings 'Amazing Grace' for George Floyd

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins sang "Amazing Grace" for George Floyd.

Jenkins — the vice president of the Minneapolis City Council and one of the first out trans people of color elected to any office in the United States — delivered the emotional rendition at a press conference for Floyd, an African-American man who died Monday at the hands of one of the city's white police officers. 

Floyd's killing has sparked nationwide protests and renewed attention toward the ongoing epidemic of Black victims of police brutality. Jenkins's song evoked former President Barack Obama, who sang the spiritual during the 2015 eulogy for the minister of a Charleston, S.C., church, where nine African-Americans were slain by a white shooter.

(Related: Trans Woman Andrea Jenkins Elected to Minneapolis City Council)

As a Black transgender woman, Jenkins stands at the intersection of the two most at-risk groups for violence in the United States and her performance channeled the collective sorrow of those deaths.

In following remarks, Jenkins said she hoped the song offered "amazing grace" to Floyd's surviving family members and pledged to fight injustice as an elected official.

“We feel as if there was a knee on all of our collective necks — a knee that says Black life does not matter," said Jenkins, adding, "I am a part of this system to help to take that knee off of our necks. And that is the work that I will be doing.”

Watch the performance below.

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