The life of George Floyd was celebrated in Minneapolis on what would have been his 48th birthday.
According to CBS Minnesota, the community came together on Thursday (Oct. 14) to not only celebrate but remember his life and the continued fight for justice and police accountability. The event began as a block party with food and music, followed by a candlelight vigil.
“I think this is more than just a birthday. I think that with George Floyd brings to not just to the city of Minneapolis but to the world globally, I think this is just more of a celebration of life,” said Minneapolis resident Michael Smith. “I really think the focus this evening should be just revisiting and revitalizing our community, bringing people back outside, and bringing joy into the community.”
The W Minneapolis Foshay Hotel also erected a new piece of artwork honoring George Floyd on his birthday. KSTP Eyewitness News reported the W-shaped sculpture called “Iconic Minneapolis” features images of Floyd as well as Martin Luther King Jr., Prince, Bob Dylan, and more.
“It’s an anthem for hope,” said Hollie Blanchard, the co-founder of ArtGirls Minneapolis and curator of the hotel’s art project. “I think this piece represents hope for a really dark time for Minneapolis.”
“A piece of art that was going to tell the story of our city wasn’t going to be complete without including George Floyd,” said General Manager Christy Loy. “It tells the story of the iconic places of the city, but it also tells the truth about the evolution of our city and the changes that are needed to make this a city for all its residents.”
Neo-soul artist Erykah Badu also paid respects to George Floyd on his birthday by treating his family during her tour stop at the Minneapolis Armory on Wednesday (Oct. 13). The Mama’s Gun singer invited multiple members of Floyd’s family backstage to celebrate his life at midnight. She recorded footage and shared it on her Instagram story. The video was shared on Twitter by @BlackK_GMS, an account that appears to have no affiliation to Badu nor the Floyd family.
“People of planet Earth, we’re about 6 minutes away, four minutes away from George Floyd’s birthday. He would’ve been 48 years old and I’m here with his family now… It seems like we have a moment of peace right now. And we know that your life was not in vain,” she said as the family repeated the last line.
“Asè O. Thank you for your spirit and your sacrifice so that we can move on the way we should, be where we supposed to as a people. Asè O.”
— Quan (@BlackK_GMS) October 14, 2021
Former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced by Judge Peter Cahill ordered Chauvin to serve 22.5 years behind bars with credit for 199 days served for the murder of George Floyd. According to NPR, as of September, he planned to appeal the conviction.