A George Floyd hologram memorial will be touring Confederate monuments in the South after making its debut Tuesday night at the heavily graffitied statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia.
Members of Floyd’s family attended the public launch of the hologram, which depicts lights converging like fireflies into an image of George Floyd’s name and face. Created by the George Floyd Foundation and Change.org, the display is part of “A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project,” which aims to “transform spaces that were formerly occupied by racist symbols of America’s dark Confederate past into a message of hope, solidarity and forward-thinking change.”
— pace (@ReggiePace) July 28, 2020
The foundation created by George Floyd's family has launched a new initiative to project a hologram of Floyd at a handful of Confederate monuments throughout the South https://t.co/D9GWPtfys5 pic.twitter.com/XhlegI5Ghh
— CNN (@CNN) July 29, 2020
The hologram, which is actually a projection on a semi-translucent screen, will be overlaid onto Confederate monuments in five stops throughout North Carolina, Georgia, and other states, following a path roughly the same as the 1961 Freedom Rides, in which civil rights activists rode interstate buses into the South to protest racial segregation and register black voters.
According to local ABC affiliate WRIC, George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said at the unveiling, “My brother was executed in broad daylight. They still won’t get their feet off of our necks. So, we have a problem right now because I’m not going to stop. I was a truck driver, I’m going state to state. I’ve been to Virginia before but I haven’t been here to testify for my brother.”
Floyd’s other brother, Rodney Floyd, said in a statement, “Since the death of my brother George, his face has been seen all over the world. Now by partnering with 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.”
The Lee statue over which the Floyd hologram was projected is the last Confederate monument standing along the historic Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former Confederate capital. In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody in May, protesters tore down a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis along the tree-lined thoroughfare, and the mayor of Richmond later ordered all Confederate statues on city property be removed on July 1. The Lee statue remains because it is on state property, and a judge temporarily blocked Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s order to take it down in June.
George Floyd has become a symbolic figure after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes until he died. Since then, Floyd’s death has become a rallying cry for those protesting police brutality and systemic racism in demonstrations that have often degenerated into violent riots throughout the country. The ongoing violence in cities such as Portland, Oregon, has strained the relationship of state and local authorities with the federal government.