George Floyd lives on in light.
A hologram effigy of the 46-year-old Black man killed by a since-fired Minneapolis police officer in May will tour the U.S., traveling roughly along the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides.
A collaboration between the George Floyd Foundation and Change.org, the display will stop at five sites in North Carolina, Georgia and other Southern states.
Tuesday night, Floyd’s family was to launch the weeklong project in Richmond, Virginia, where the hologram was to replace the statue of Robert E. Lee. It will be the first public unveiling of the George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project, organized by Change.org and The George Floyd Foundation.
On Monday his family held a preview of the installation at the Jefferson Davis memorial on Monument Avenue, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Protesters removed the statue of the former president of the Confederacy in June, the Times-Dispatch noted.
“Since the death of my brother George, his face has been seen all over the world,” Floyd’s brother Rodney Floyd said in a statement from Change.org. “The hologram will allow my brother’s face to be seen as a symbol for change in places where change is needed most.”
Seeing it brought mixed emotions, he said at the launch.
“It warms my heart knowing the love that my brother is spreading around the world,” Rodney Floyd said, but added that it was also surreal.
“Looking at my brother, just wishing that he was here with me,” Rodney Floyd said. “I’m hurting right now, but I’m happy to be here. But it’s just hard just being here, looking at my brother, seeing him on a hologram. I never thought I’d see my brother on a hologram. I always thought that we’d grow old, fish, and die all together in a natural death.”
Floyd was killed May 25 by then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with murder for kneeling on his neck for nearly eight minutes. Three officers with him who did not intervene were also charged and fired.
The hologram starts out with fireflies that coalesce into a three-dimensional image of Floyd, with his name depicted in graffiti on either side to reflect the murals that have sprung up worldwide. Designed by Kaleida Hologram Co., it was projected by Quince Imaging of Virginia, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reported.
“The day after George Floyd was laid to rest in peace, the Floyd family made a personal sacrifice by giving up their time to rest and recover from the loss of their loved one,” Tezlyn Figaro, senior adviser at the George Floyd Foundation, said in a statement shared with the New York Daily News. “Because they understand how George’s death has impacted the world, they turned their pain into purpose by creating the George Floyd Foundation located in the city where George was raised, Houston, Texas.”
“This project seeks to replace the monuments of racist Confederate memory with symbols of solidarity and justice,” Change.org senior campaigner Sylvia Rolle said in the statement, noting that 20 million people had signed a petition headlined Justice for George Floyd. “In collaboration with the family of George Floyd and the George Floyd Foundation, this project aims to reflect the power and beauty of those millions of voices standing up for change.”
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