Union square

Remembering George Floyd on his 48th birthday in Union Square

A celebration of a life that sparked a global movement for black lives.

On Thursday, October 14, George Floyd would have turned 48; however, this day is also a sobering reminder of his untimely death. In memory of a life taken too soon, Confront Art and Terrence Floyd ring in George Floyd’s birthday a day early with a song and balloons on October 13.

Union Square Park is currently hosting a three-piece sculpture exhibit that features busts of John Lewis, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. As these memorials to black culture reach hundreds of visitors each week, the artworks coordinator, Confront Art, hosted a Wednesday evening service in his memory.

A member of the Resistance Revival choir sings. Photo by Dean Moses
The Renaissance choir of the Resistance gathered around the statue. Photo by Dean Moses

Under the eyes of Terence Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, the Resistance Revival choir performed a variety of powerful songs in the image of a man who has become a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We don’t necessarily want to celebrate but we want to honor,” Lindsay Eshelman, co-founder of Confront Art, told amNewYork Metro. “Not many people know that George Floyd was a musician, so when we honor him, we want to do it in a way, on the other side, he will appreciate.”

The Resistance Revival Chorus is a collective of over 60 non-binary women and singers who specialize in uplifting women and marginalized groups through the power of music. Dressed in white, the group formed a circle under Floyd’s bust and sang several songs that quickly drew crowds of onlookers.

Terrence Floyd, who attended the occasion with his family, told amNewYork Metro he appreciated his brother’s recognition.

Flowers and balloons were left at the statue. Photo by Dean Moses
The Resistance Revival choir drew a crowd with their singing. Photo by Dean Moses

“The community and New York show my brother’s love, especially on his birthday. Even though he’s not here physically with me, I can come here and see his face,” Terrence Floyd said, adding that his brother would have joked. “He would have loved it, he would have said the singing was wrong,” Terrence Floyd joked.

At the end of the ceremony, several visitors laid flowers at the foot of the Floyd statue and members of Confront Art placed black and gold balloons around it as a birthday present. Although the installation will only be available in Union Square until the end of the month, Confront Art said they hope to tour the statues across the country.

“We’re working on a possible tour of historically black colleges and we’d like it to go to a few other places as well. Although it was in the media, we really think the impact is in people seeing it in person,” said Confront Art co-founder Andrew Cohen.

Terrance Floyd with the Resistance Revival choir. Photo by Dean Moses