June 21, 2021
A breathtaking, larger-than-life statue of George Floyd has arrived in Newark, New Jersey—and will remain in place in front of City Hall there for the next year to honor his legacy, People magazine reports.
On Wednesday, June 16. the city of Newark revealed the 700-lb. bronze statue of Floyd in front of City Hall. The statue, which depicts Floyd sitting on a bench, was created by artist Stanley Watts and commissioned by actor and filmmaker Leon Pinkney as a donation to the city.
According to NJ.com, Pinkney wants the sculpture to honor the Minnesota man’s humanity—hoping those who see it remember why his death sparked an outcry for change.
“The world needed a peaceful George,” Watts said during the ceremony. “The world needed him relaxed and chilling on a bench—and that’s what we produced—and we produced him larger than life, because after death, George will be remembered. That’s what memorials are. To remember and never forget why we changed today and tomorrow and for the rest of our existence on this planet.”
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka attended the unveiling to show how grateful he was that Pinkney chose Newark as the home for the statue. NJ.com reports that he added, “George Floyd represents a lot more than himself at this juncture in history. Hopefully when people walk by it and they see it … hopefully it inspires them to become active in the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey.”
Last month marked the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. He was killed on May 25, 2020, at the hands of white police officer Derek Chauvin, who recently was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder. and manslaughter. Floyd’s killing—which was caught on camera and viewed by millions— sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Research contact: @people