Traveling exbibit will promote justice, honor Floyd’s name, family member says
By Janice Hayes Kyser
LOS ANGELES – Members of the George Floyd family will be here Oct. 8 to announce the formation of an international exhibit that will travel to various cities honoring Floyd’s name and promoting the fight for racial justice and equality, Floyd’s uncle, Selwyn Jones, told The Wave.
The exhibit is expected to travel to museums and other venues around the world, Jones said, and will feature his nephew’s personal belongings as well as various audio, video and photographic elements that promote non-violence and reflect the horror Floyd endured at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
While details are still being finalized, Jones says he envisions the exhibit making stops at several venues — including some historically Black colleges — and being permanently housed at one of the nation’s museums of African-American history. He said the international tour also will serve as a “thank you” to people who supported his family and the fight for justice.
“A lot of people in Los Angeles and around the world stopped what they were doing to acknowledge our pain and suffering,” Jones said. “Our family went through an awful loss, but we were not alone. So many people lifted us up and supported us and helped us get justice for George. We want to give back — and part of that is keeping George’s story and memory alive.”
Jones and his manager — New York businessman Stephen Davis — said they are negotiating with several national museums and Black colleges to host the tour. Although they have no sponsors for the exhibit or the tour, they say they’ll use their own money to make sure it happens.
“Selwyn and his family want to personally thank the billions of people who supported them around the world during their time of grief,” Davis said. “Those who came out to make their voices heard braved a pandemic, adverse weather, political unrest and their own personal safety to loudly and clearly proclaim justice for George. We must never forget that.”
Floyd was killed in May 2020 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, literally choking the life out of him. Floyd’s agonizing pleas of “I can’t breathe” ultimately became a rallying cry around the world, sparking protests against police brutality and renewed calls for racial justice.
Chauvin was tried, convicted and sentenced to 22.5 years for Floyd’s murder. Three other former Minneapolis officers will face trial in March in connection with Floyd’s death.
Jones said 15 other members of the Floyd family will join him at a news conference in Leimert Park Oct. 8 to announce the creation of the Soulful Heart Foundation — which will produce several initiatives to preserve Floyd memory — and to reiterate their support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the U.S. House but is stalled in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Jones said he and his family will continue fighting for justice as long as they draw breath.
“George helped change the world; and with the love I have in my heart for my sister’s baby boy, I will never stop fighting to keep people’s hearts and minds open,” Jones said. “I have to keep fighting for him, for our family, for all families, for a better world.”
“Some jobs come for you; you don’t come for them,” he added. “I will never turn this one away.”