Saturday, July 25, 2020

In Uptown and Beyond, Murals Honor George Floyd and Call for an End to Systemic Racism

This time last week I was in the Uptown neighborhood of south Minneapolis where I marveled at the many beautiful and powerful murals painted on the boarded-up windows of numerous shops and stores. These colorful works of public art not only pay tribute to George Floyd and other victims of police brutality but also call all to consciousness and action around the issue of systemic racism and police violence against people of color, black men in particular.

The boarded-up businesses are remnants of the riots that erupted in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police on May 25. This killing took place at the intersection of Lake St. and 38th Ave. in south Minneapolis, midway between Uptown and my home in the Seward neighborhood. In the days and weeks that have followed, Minneapolis has become the epicenter of a global uprising, one that embodies the realization that George Floyd's murder serves as a catalyst for much-needed and long-overdue systemic change.

The blossoming of artwork around Minneapolis (and indeed the world) is just one manifestation of this uprising, about which Liv Martin writes:

Colorful works of art have popped up throughout the Twin Cities to honor the memory of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25. Using boarded-up buildings, city walls, and sidewalks as their canvasses, many artists have shown solidarity through their own unique art styles.

[A]rtists, like those of the cohort of Studio 400, have painted murals around the Twin Cities. . . . One mural painted at the Seward Community Co-op on 38th Street reads, “Performative allyship will not suffice. Demand justice.” Another mural at that location by Studio 400 member Maiya Lea Hartman features a child in the foreground, holding a sign that reads “We are the future they fought for,” and wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, with two elders in the background.

Following are some of the photos that I took of the murals honoring George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in Uptown, Minneapolis on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

Related Off-site Links:
Minneapolis Artists Memorialize George Floyd in Murals – Norah Kleven (Minnesota Daily, June 1, 2020).
George Floyd Murals Put Systemic Racism on Display Worldwide – Katerina Papathanasiou (The Vale Magazine, June 26, 2020).
George Floyd Murals Are Popping Up All Over the World – Austin Steele and Kyle Almond (CNN, June 26, 2020).
The Righteous Power of the George Floyd Mural – Giulia L. Heyward (New Republic via, June 15, 2020).
Murals Honor George Floyd and Black Lives Matter Movement USA Today (July 20, 2020).
What Should Happen to the Murals and Other Street Art Honoring George Floyd? – Phil Picardi (MPR News, June 18, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
“I Can't Breathe”: The Murder of George Floyd
He Called Mama. He Has Called Up Great Power
Something to Think About – May 28, 2020
Honoring George Floyd
“New and Very Dangerous”: The Extreme Right-Wing Infiltration of the George Floyd Protests
Mayor Melvin Carter: “The Anger Is Real, and I Share It With You”
“An Abolitionist Demand”: Progressive Perspectives on Transforming Policing in the U.S.
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 2, 2020
Trevor Noah on the “Dominoes of Racial Injustice”
Emma Jordan-Simpson: “There Will Be No Peace Without Justice”
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Quote of the Day – June 9, 2020
Helpful Rebuttals for Racist Talking Points
Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore
“Say Her Name” Solidarity Action
“We Are All One” – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Nancy A. Heitzeg: Quote of the Day – March 31, 2016
“This Doesn't Happen to White People”
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
Something to Think About – March 25, 2016
God's Good Gift
Photo of the Day, 5/3/2015: “Black Is Sacred”
“And Still We Rise!” – Mayday 2015 (Part I)
“And Still We Rise!” – Mayday 2015 (Part II)

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