GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — George Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer one year ago on Tuesday.
A tragedy that sparked protests for justice and police reform across the country, some became violent while others remained peaceful. In April, a jury convicted now-former police officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd’s murder was a stop in time, the world stopped for that moment,” said Rasheem Pugh, a Greensboro artist and founder of Save the Arts Foundation.
Pugh and others across the Piedmont Triad remembered and celebrated Floyd’s life in their own way.
“I want him to be remembered by never being forgotten,” said Brandon Green, an educator and protest organizer.
Green told FOX8 he will never forget the images that showed Floyd’s final moments.
“George Floyd’s murder made me even more invested because he looked like me,” Green said. “He was me.”
A demand for justice moved from the internet and into the streets. Green and three friends led protests through Greensboro in late May 2020 unaware of the impact it would have one year later.
“We wanted to stand up and get out and be active and do something to help the community, but we were not aware that it was a stamp in history,” Green said. “I may not be able to be on the streets every day and protest, but I can use my music, my voice, my sound, my light and continue to be the change.”
Pugh celebrated Floyd’s life through his artwork, including a Black Lives Matter table on display at the Greensboro History Museum Pieces of Now exhibit.
“You can’t walk around and carry death on your shoulder every day,” he said. “You still have to live life and remember, I think the important part is remembering.”
Every word of Nakesha Writes’ poem “Hueman” brings people together to heal and unite for Floyd.
“Everybody coming together,” she said. “Pouring their heart out into their artwork and just showing how they feel and it’s just showing strength and that we believe that there can be change.”
Change to celebrate Floyd’s life and help stop this from happening to others.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Pugh said. “You still have to keep the hope alive that it’s going to be good for you, your family and the next generation to come.”
The Greensboro History Museum is hosting Reflections on Pieces of Now, a History Happening on Saturday, June 5th from 4-8 p.m. Artists, teachers, and activists involved in the protests will be there to share their stories.