GEORGE FLOYD was not famous. He was killed not in the capital of the United States, but on a street corner in its 46th-largest city. Yet in death he has suddenly become the keystone of a movement that has seized all of America. Still more remarkably, he has inspired protests abroad, from Brazil to Indonesia, and France to Australia. His legacy is the rich promise of social reform. It is too precious to waste.

What does "legacy" and "rich promise" mean?

  • Have you looked them up in a dictionary? If so, what sounds ambiguous to you?
    – Cardinal
    Jun 18, 2020 at 6:10
  • legacy : money or property left to sb in a will ; promise : a statement that you will certainly do something. So the sentence means "the money he left is a lot of guarantee for social reform"?.
    – wtdark
    Jun 18, 2020 at 6:16
  • 1
    Promise means a "sort of hope for a better future of " and it has several meanings in different contexts. you may want to check all the entries for that word.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 18, 2020 at 6:22

1 Answer 1


The definition you cite in your comment is not great. "Legacy" usually refers primarily to non-monetary things that are left behind when someone passes away. When a composer passes away, he or she will leave a legacy of great music and influence on future composers, for example. A person might leave behind a legacy consisting of his children, the things he taught them, and their influence on the world. The founding fathers of the US left behind a legacy of freedom and democracy that would have an unparalleled influence on the world. It can also be used in a negative context. The practice of slavery, now dead, left behind a legacy of race-based class that still plagues us today.

In this case Floyd's legacy refers to the promise, meaning the likely possibility, of major social reform that he left us with.

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