HOUSTON - Today marks another milestone missed by George Floyd who his loved ones say was taken way too soon but on this day, on what would have been Floyd's 47th birthday, friends and family are choosing to celebrate the positive changes being made in George Floyd's name and honor.
For instance, an image entitled "Peace For George Floyd” is being released on his birthday, as a limited edition postcard and poster.
“We have to keep the conversation going. Not a hashtag, not a trending topic. It just has to be something that we don't forget, something we're reminded of every day and hopefully, that will bring change in the way we treat each other,” explains Mathew Usoro.
In fact, Artists and husband and wife Mathew and Zainob Usoro snapped the drone picture while attending the June 2020 rally here in Houston where over 60,000 people gathered against inequality and for George Floyd.
"Everyone was just united. it just felt so peaceful,” says Mrs. Usoro.
"It just felt like we weren't going to let him go that way, go so painfully but just to celebrate his life is what it was,” explains Mr. Usoro.
“We never attended a protest before but we just knew we wanted to do something. We wanted to be there,” says the artists.
“It was such a diverse crowd in terms of age, color, there were people on walkers, canes. It brought tears to our eyes,” explains Floyd's cousin Shareeduh Tate who says the peace of the Houston rally brought comfort to their family because before that only the violent image of how he died seemed to replay. "This was our first encounter where we actually saw all these people gathering for something positive".
"What happened was inhumane and we really miss him and we're doing what we can do to keep on fighting for this change,” adds close friend Travis Cains.
So having this picture of peace released on George's birthday is certainly a gift. "I actually woke up this morning and it was pretty emotional. I was missing him a lot today,” says cousin Tera Brown.
The family says since George's death a number of things have changed, from renaming racially insensitive things to "The confederate statues that have come down and they're actually replacing them.
We've seen reform of police,” says Brown. "They say hearts were changed after George's death and they aren't discouraged by studies showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement decreasing among whites and Hispanics. If we stick together in this we can't lose,” says Brown who says they realize in order to get change everyone needs to remain united.
"If we're going to get meaningful change we need as many people on our side as possible,” explains Houston NAACP President Dr. James Douglas who has been fighting for equal justice since 1954. "So it's not as if change is going to happen in 3 months or 4 months or 5 months".
"We're not going to grow weary. We're going to keep fighting and we would hope they would continue to do that with us,” says Tate.
By the way, the poster is two-sided. the back has the numbers 8, 4, 6. "Which is the amount of time the Minneapolis Police Officer had his knee on George Floyd's neck until he passed. Also in those numbers, in those block letters you'll see a reproduction of his last words. Never forget what this man suffered in his last moments in his life but even though he was suffering, he was suffocating somehow in there he was free at last,” adds Mrs. Usoro.
100 percent of the proceeds from the posters and postcards will be donated to one of the organizers of the Houston march, Trae Tha Truth's non-profit organization Angel By Nature. The photo will be on display at the Menil Collection Bookstore beginning October 30, 2020. You can also buy it here ZainobMathewcreate.com/peace.