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Tiffany Haddish Recalls Traumatic Memories of Seeing Friends Killed by Police

Tiffany Haddish is opening up about painful parts of her past she had to work through once more when she attended George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis. During a virtual appearance on Tuesday’s Late Night With Seth Meyers, the actress shared that Floyd’s funeral was beautifully poignant — and in a way, offered her emotional closure.

Last week, Haddish joined Floyd’s family and many other mourners as they gathered at Trask Word and Worship center to say goodbye to the 46-year-old killed by police. In addition to being personally invited, Haddish told Meyers, “The main thing that made me want to be there is I have watched my friends be slaughtered by the police. I have watched people be murdered in front of me as a 13-year-old, 14-year-old girl.” Struggling to keep her composure, Haddish continued, “And there was nothing I can do except, ‘No! Don’t do that!’ Just yelling out. What does that do? And so, I wanted to be there in support of the family ’cause I understand how they feel.”

The experience proved cathartic for Haddish in more ways than one. She explained, “Being there was like being there for all my friends whose funerals I already went to. But all my friends who passed away, all the people that I went to school with who’ve passed away, have been locked up for no reason just ’cause they can’t afford a good lawyer or, you know, accused of things that they didn’t do.”

Haddish said paying respects to Floyd was “powerful” to be a part of. “I was crying so much, and it was like tears of, not just for Floyd, but for all of those people that passed away and all of my friends and my family members that are locked up. It was like all the tears that I ever wanted to cry were coming out,” she shared.

One particular moment during the service stands out to Haddish as being especially impactful. “When they had that moment of silence — that eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence on that stage — and I’m standing there, next to one of the mothers of a victim, and the quietness and then the thought of what if someone’s knee was in my neck for this long?” she said. “How helpless were my friends when they were being attacked, you know?”

Although Haddish admits this current crossroads in history is hard, she also believes it’s necessary.

“It’s extremely difficult. I like to think of myself as an administrator of joy, someone who when I come into a scene, any worries or woes that you might have can be alleviated or removed. But during this time, it has been so difficult for me to express any kind of joy or bring any kind of happiness or anything, because I’m literally sitting back watching the world fall apart. It feels like it,” she told Meyers. “And it feels like it needs to fall apart — things need to fall apart and be put back together again in a way that’s fair.”

Before you go, discover 12 books that explore systemic racism

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