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WATCH: Memorial service for George Floyd, preacher says it's a new season

by Cara Bentley

At the memorial service for George Floyd, Reverend Al Sharpton told those mourning that everything has a purpose and that things will change. He also called for another March on Washington for 28th August. 

In Minneapolis on Thursday night, the Baptist minister said (watch below) he was more "hopeful today than ever" about the fight against racism after seeing marches in London and Germany.

He was speaking at the memorial of George Floyd, the black man whose death has sparked shock and frustration, as well as protests and widespread discussion about the prevalence of racism in western society.  

Citing Ecclesiastes 3:1 in the Bible, he said: "I'm more hopeful today than ever. Why? Well let me go back. Reverend Jackson always taught me to stay on your text, go back to your text Ecclesiastes - there is a time and a season."

The preacher then made reference to Donald Trump's holding of a Bible this week for the cameras and asked him too to open it up to Ecclesiastes 3:1, which reads:  

"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens"

He said it is time to let the world know "what time it is" and not to use Bibles, or George Floyd, as a prop. 

Rev Al said he thinks things are changing when it comes to racial injustice: "when I looked this time, and saw marches where in some cases young whites outnumbered the blacks marching, I know that it's a different time and a different season.

"When I looked and saw people in Germany marching for George Floyd, it's a different time and a different season. When they went in front of the Parliament in London, England, and said it's a different time and a different season, I've come to tell you America, this is the time of building with accountability in the criminal justice system."

The memorial at the Frank J Lindquist sanctuary at North Central University was the first service to be held in the next few days across three communities where Mr Floyd was born, grew up and died, and was attended by celebrities, civil rights activists and politicians.

The minister passionately lamented the amount of prejudice and excess criticism experienced by black people in the public eye, such as Barack Obama, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, saying "you can't take your knee off our neck!"

"We don't want no favours, just get up off of us!"

Mr Floyd's body is to go to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, for a two-hour public viewing and private service for the family on Saturday.

A public viewing will be held on Monday in Houston, where he lived most of his life.

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