George Floyd Statues Unveiled In NY & NJ To Mark Juneteenth

by Kristine Cannon
Originally Published: 
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

The final design for the new Harriet Tubman monument was also unveiled

Two George Floyd statues were unveiled this week to mark Juneteenth. The statues, which are located in Brooklyn, New York and Newark, New Jersey, honor Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis last year — a death that turned Black Lives Matter into a global movement.

The 6-foot-tall Floyd statue, created by artist Chris Carnabuci, was unveiled in Brooklyn on Saturday morning by Terrence Floyd, George’s brother. Here, Terrence led a Juneteenth rally outside Brooklyn Public Library, where chants of “We are Floyd” could be heard.

“My brother was the sacrifice, so I need y’all to continue to pay attention and keep my big brother’s name ringing in the ears of everyone,” Terrence said at the event, USA Today reports.

The sculpture of Floyd’s head will remain on display at Brooklyn’s Flatbush Junction for three weeks. Then, it will move to Union Square in Manhattan.

“George Floyd’s legacy is truly monumental — and I’m not just using that as a figure of speech,” New York Council Member Farah Louis said at the unveiling. “His death changed our country. It forced us to see what we had been blind to for many years. It forced America to confront its painful legacy of systemic racism and police brutality.”

A few days prior, a 700-pound bronze statue of George Floyd, created by artist Stanley Watts, was unveiled in front of city hall in Newark.

According to CNN, Mayor Ras Baraka said he hopes the statue will inspire spectators to “become active in the things, the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey.”

“George Floyd represents a lot more than himself,” Baraka said. “All of the activity that took place around this country, around the world, because of the untimely and ferocious and vicious death, murder of George Floyd and all of the activism that sparked out of it is worth us pausing and paying attention to.”

This particular statue will remain on-site for at least one year.

Baraka also unveiled the final design for the new Harriet Tubman monument, which replaces a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed last summer. Designed by artist Nina Cooke John, the Tubman monument will be installed next summer in Washington Park, which will be renamed Tubman Square.

“As a woman, a Black woman, and mother of three girls, I am delighted to bring my memorial for Harriet Tubman to life in Newark,” John said. “My design creates a welcoming space for people to connect with Tubman as well as interact and reflect on their own liberation from whatever weight they might be carrying. This is a monument for the community and by the community.”

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