Remembering George Floyd on his 48th birthday in Union Square

A celebration of a life that sparked a worldwide movement for Black lives.

On Thursday, Oct. 14 George Floyd would have turned 48 years old; however, this day is also a sobering reminder of his untimely death. In memory of a life taken too soon, Confront Art and Terrence Floyd rang in George Floyd’s birthday a day early with song and balloons on Oct. 13.

Union Square Park is currently the host of a three piece sculpture display that showcases the busts of John Lewis, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. With these Black culture memorials reaching hundreds of visitors each and every week, the artworks’ coordinator, Confront Art, held a service on Wednesday evening in his memory.

A member of the he Resistance Revival chorus sings. Photo by Dean Moses
The Resistance Revival chorus gathered around the statue. Photo by Dean Moses

With Terence Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, looking on, the Resistance Revival chorus performed a variety of powerful songs beneath the likeness of a man who became a symbol for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We don’t necessarily want to celebrate but we want to honor,” co-founder of Confront Art Lindsay Eshelman told amNewYork Metro. “Not a lot of people know that George Floyd was a musician, so when we honor him we want to do it in a way, from the other side, he will appreciate.”

The Resistance Revival Chorus is collective of more than 60 women, and non-binary singers who specialize in uplifting women and marginalized groups through the power of music. Dressed in white the group formed a circle beneath the bust of Floyd and belted out several songs that swiftly drew a crowd of spectators.

Terrence Floyd, who attended the occasion with his family, told amNewYork Metro that he appreciated the recognition of his brother.

Flowers and Balloons were left at the statue. Photo by Dean Moses
The Resistance Revival chorus drew a crowd with their singing. Photo by Dean Moses

“The community and New York is showing my brother love, especially for his birthday. Even though he is not here physically with me, I am able to come here and see his face,” Terrence Floyd said, adding that his brother would have joked. “He would have loved it, he would have said the singing was off key,” Terrence Floyd said jokingly.  

As the ceremony came to a close, several visitors placed flowers at the foot of the Floyd statue and members of Confront Art placed black and gold balloons around it as a birthday gift. Although the installation will only be available at Union Square until the end of the month, Confront Art said they hope to tour the statues across the nation.

“We are working on a possible tour to historically black colleges and we would also like it to go to a few other places. While it has been in the media, we really think that the impact is in people seeing it in person,” Confront Art co-founder Andrew Cohen.

Terrance Floyd with the Resistance Revival chorus. Photo by Dean Moses