A six-foot-tall sculpture of George Floyd’s head has been unveiled in Brooklyn, New York City, both drawing praise and raising eyebrows. The statue was inaugurated by Floyd’s brother on the occasion of Juneteenth.
The larger-than-life art piece by sculptor Chris Carnabuci was installed at Brooklyn’s Flatbush Junction on Saturday. The unveiling ceremony was headlined by Terrence Floyd, who called the police killing of his brother a “sacrifice” to the cause of racial justice.
New York Council Member Farah Louis described Floyd’s legacy as “truly monumental,” insisting that it was not “just a figure of speech.” Louis argued that Floyd’s death became a springboard for America to reckon with its legacy of “systemic racism and police brutality.”
The sculpture will remain at the junction for several weeks before it is relocated to Union Square in Manhattan.
While the unveiling of the monument was met with loud cheers and chants of “We are Floyd” from the crowd, the celebratory spirit was lost on some observers.
Some were baffled by the choice of location for the statue, pointing out that Floyd had died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, not Brooklyn.
George Floyd died in Minnesota but got a statue in Brooklyn?
Why is there a George Floyd statue in Brooklyn… pic.twitter.com/jjEfL7KJ1A
Others even took issue with the design of the artwork, expressing bewilderment at the fact that the sculpture commemorating Floyd, a black man, appeared to look white.
the George Floyd statue is white??
Why the hell is the George Floyd statue white 🤨🤨
Another commenter argued that it was “sickening” to see people “making him [Floyd] a mascot & gaining careers of his death.” “That man [Floyd] ain’t sign up for none of this,” he noted.
Some people really building fame, political careers, and pocketing money off the name of George Floyd. Why do I need to know who his brother endorsed for mayor of NYC? And why is there a statue of him in Brooklyn and Jersey? This is all nasty to me
Former Democratic congressional candidate for Georgia’s Fifth District, Barrington Martin II, slammed the display on Twitter, accusing establishment Democrats of making “a martyr” out of Floyd, whose death in police custody in May last year sparked a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and for racial justice. The initially peaceful protests were marred by violence, occasionally spiralling into rioting, looting and vandalism.
Brooklyn has a George Floyd statue now. 🤦🏿♂️
He’s a martyr.Per Nancy Pelosi https://t.co/yU1zp0uibC
The unveiling of the Brooklyn statue comes a day after a 700-pound bronze statue honouring Floyd was presented to the public in the city of Newark, New Jersey.
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