A mural honouring George Floyd was recently revealed outside his former high school.
The two-block mural is located directly in front of Jack Yates High School in Houston, TX.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May 2020 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
“We come to celebrate the life and legacy of our hometown hero, Mr. George Floyd,” Carl Davis, chairman for the Houston Society for Change, said during the dedication ceremony.
Davis called Floyd’s life a “guiding light” in the community. He said the mural was placed in front of the school, “to inspire students and give a voice to the struggle for social justice in Houston and the world.”
The mural was created by visual artist Jonah Elijah, who also attended the high school. It took three days and about 25 volunteers, including city employees and art students from the school, to create the mural.
Elijah said it felt, “surreal,” to see the finished product during the dedication ceremony.
“It was sad, it was happy, it was joyful, it was everything,” he said. “It didn’t feel real.”
The mural features Floyd’s football jersey and the words “Black Lives Matter” in the school’s colors of crimson and gold. Protest scenes are painted into the word “matter.”
The mural was commissioned by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, the Houston Society for Change, and 88 C.H.U.M.P., a non-profit social activism organization that was created by Floyd’s football teammates.
Floyd wore the number 88 when he played football at Jack Yates High.
Ellis said it was especially important to have the unveiling during Black History Month.
“It’s important for all of us… to say George Floyd’s name,” Ellis said. “But we don’t stop there. The criminal justice in America and in Harris County is replete with racism, is replete with inequities and there are far too many people who look like George Floyd going to county jail who ought to be somewhere else.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “This is another public statement that the life and death of George Floyd is not in vain. Because of his life and his death, reforms are being made… all over the country.”
“Even right here in the city of Houston, we are learning to do things better.”