Union Square played host to three epic statue unveilings on Sept. 30 depicting prominent, deceased civil rights figures in the Black and Brown community.
Entitled Seeinjustice, the three statues portray George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who both died at the hands of law enforcement, and civil rights and statesman John Lewis. These three colossal figures in the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements have been inflated to a scale at which many feel they deserve.
In addition to honoring their memory, Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, feels it is also a reminder of a great injustice.
Sing Harlem, a musical group from Mama Foundation for the Arts opened the proceedings with several renditions before the event host, Confront Art, spoke to attendees regarding their vision.
“At Confront, our mission is very simple: It’s to create amazing public and free art that’s immersive, and that can inspire, and that can promote social justice causes and perhaps connect us and bring us closer together. So, we’re proud to present our first installation,” Confront Art co-founder Andrew Cohen said.
“Let’s just take a deep breath. What I’m actually doing for my brother, because he’s no longer able to do it. He didn’t get a chance to do it. And that’s what everyone has to understand, and I want you to know is, don’t waste your breath. Every, every breath you breathe. Don’t waste it,” Terrence Floyd said, adding, “We’re going to do this and love, peace and unity, and we’re going to keep healing together.”
After the speech, the crowd rose to their feet to see the coverings pulled away, revealing golden visages of the three individuals that glinted in the morning sun created by artist Chris Carnabuci.
The statues will remain in Union Square for 30 days before taking a trip around the city.
Deputy Mayor Phillip Thompson christened the unveiling by commending the Floyd family in the wake of the infamous murder.
“I must say that as an African American, the way the Floyd family dealt with the murder of George Floyd, with so much grace and so much dignity, where they never said it’s about our family. They said it’s about all of us. And it just touched the hearts of all of us Black folks in America but I think it touches the hearts of so many more people all around the world, and thank you for that,” Thompson said. “These beautiful statues really represent our struggle for the freedom of Black people, for the things that America is supposed to stand for.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.