Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

NJ city to unveil 700-pound statue of George Floyd

Mayor Ras Baraka speaks at rally July 4, 2020 to protest police brutality outside Essex County Historic Courthouse in Newark, NJ. (Matt Smith/NJ Advance Media/TNS)

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday is set to unveil a statue of George Floyd that officials say will be displayed outside City Hall for at least a year.

“The artwork honors the life of George Floyd, an African-American man who was brutally murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “Mr. Floyd’s death elevated the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement which has resulted in an international response, including protests, police reform measures, and the removal of Confederate statues from public parks and racist names from organizations.”

Baraka will join actor, director, and filmmaker Leon Pickney, who commissioned the 700-pound statue and the sculptor, Stanley Watts, among other officials at the event, according to the mayor’s office. The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. outside City Hall on Board Street and will be streamed via the city’s Facebook page.

The statue was donated to the city this week as part of an effort to develop a “world class public art program,” in Newark, the announcement said.

The ceremony will also honor Juneteenth, which is Saturday and marks June 19, 1865, when slavery was ended in the United States. Also called Jubilee Day or Liberation Day, the date is when Union troops brought news of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, declaring all people held in slavery must be freed.

Gov. Phil Murphy last year signed a law designating Juneteenth as an official state holiday.

The Newark Museum of Art is also scheduled to offer a host of virtual programming June 19 beginning at 10 a.m. The day will include a virtual dance masterclass and a discussion about George Floyd’s legacy.

©2021 Advance Local Media LLC.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.