More than two months after George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police set off a wave of social justice and racial equality protests across the United States, Floyd's family unveiled a unique tribute to their lost loved one this week, setting the stage for a nationwide tour to honor Floyd and carry his legacy forward.
At a ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday evening, Floyd's family kicked off the first public showcase of "A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project" — a holographic projection of Floyd's face and name, which blanketed the city's Robert E. Lee monument at what's become known as Marcus David Peters Circle
"Since the death of my brother George, his face has been seen all over the world,” Floyd's brother Rodney said in a press release ahead of Tuesday evening's event. “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 hologram, created in partnership between the newly constituted George Floyd Foundation and Change.org, is set to travel to throughout the south, along the same route as the 1961 civil rights movement Freedom Ride, with stops in North Carolina and Georgia, and elsewhere. At each stop, the hologram — in which a series of digital fireflies coalesce into a ghostly image of Floyd — will reportedly be projected across a local Confederate monument, as a "symbolic call to continue the fight for racial justice," according to the team behind the installation.
"I’m hurting right now,” Floyd's brother Philonise reportedly told onlookers Monday evening at a small preview event for the project. “I’m happy to be here. But it’s just hard just being here, looking at my brother ... never thought I’d see my brother on a hologram. Always thought that we would grow old, fish, and die off together."
At Tuesday night's unveiling, Philonise thanked the public for their support, pointing at the assembled crowd and telling them that "my brother’s death will not be in vain, because we have people like you, and you and you and you."