A massive bronze statue of George Floyd was placed outside of Newark, New Jersey’s city hall.
Regarding the 700-pound monument, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said:
“Hopefully when people walk by and they see it, and they participate, hopefully it inspires them to become active in the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey.”
Floyd’s death at the hands of police officer Dereck Chauvin sparked nationwide protests last summer.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April this year. He is set to be sentenced later in June.
Film star Leon Pickney commissioned the statue as a donation, while artist Stanley Watts created it.
At the ceremony Wednesday Pickney said the following:
“By honoring his humanity, we honor every single other person’s humanity. The statue was to cause them to remember why they marched during such a horrific pandemic and I didn’t want them to go back to a status quo.”
Juneteenth national holiday and George Floyd statue in Newark. What a day to be alive. These 2 symbols of hope are just what we need. Who needs kids raised in nuclear families when we have holidays and statues? Holidays and statues are what create nuclear families!
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) June 17, 2021
Watts, who has been a sculptor for four decades, said he made the statue “because, after death, George will be remembered.”
“I chose to do this knowing that the nation is at a pivotal point,” he said. “We all know that this was a horrific display of inhumanity.”
Floyd’s bronze monument was unveiled just a few days before Juneteenth (June 19), which celebrates the end of slavery, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas.
LOOK: This 700-pound bronze statue of George Floyd was unveiled outside Newark's City Hall Wednesday in New Jersey pic.twitter.com/jcjHedpmaw
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) June 17, 2021
The President signed a bill recently that officially makes June 19th a national holiday called Juneteenth National Independence Day.
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