Just beyond those, in large colorful, carefully painted capital letters are the names of several people who have lost their lives to police violence. That list of names runs the length of the block. George Floyd is centered in everything that’s happening at the square named in his honor, and, at the same time, the area is in memoriam to others who lost their lives, a reminder that what happened to George Floyd was part of a larger epidemic of unnecessary and lethal police violence.
Fists and Flowers
There are many community-oriented features at George Floyd Square. There is a clothing shelf installed in two former bus stop shelters, just a few steps west of Chicago Avenue on East 38th Street. People often make food available in the parking lot of what was once the Speedway mini-mart (now called People’s Way). On the day I visited, The Sanneh Foundation was giving away chicken enchiladas. There are gardens—flower gardens and vegetable gardens, and there is an area that seemed intended as a space to give away perennials. There is an information kiosk in the parking lot of People’s Way, and, across the street, a greenhouse including a scruffy couch, and several potted flowers and vegetable plants.
George Floyd Square includes a lot of art as well. In addition to the raised fists, there is the “I Can Breathe Now” mural along the south side of Cup Foods made by Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, and Xena Goldman, and “George Floyd at Memorial Site'' by Peyton Scott Russell. There is a wooden fist on an old bus shelter. Just north of the memorial site, there is the “You Changed the World, George” mural attributed to several artists. There are prayer flags with hand-written messages from many different people, and there are dozens of paintings, posters, and signs, handmade and not, throughout the square. Many were made to honor George Floyd, others were added to call attention to other lives lost—Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright.