Three years ago, this month is when the world witnessed the horrific death of Houston native George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement, an action which sparked a domino effect of mass protests and uprising all across the world.
His tragic death created a global impact and shifted the conversation about racial injustices in every aspect of society. And on May 25, Houston will pay respect to Floyd through the presentation of a short documentary about the creation of Floyd’s Houston sculpture displayed at Tom Bass Park, where he grew up.
The documentary will be screened from 6-8 p.m. at the Historic Emancipation Park Cultural Center just minutes away from where Floyd attended Jack Yates High School. The screening will transition into a discussion session about the film.
The sculpture, called “Conversation with George,” depicts Floyd seated at an outdoor table, welcoming everyone of all ethnicities and backgrounds to sit and join him in unity. It was commissioned by Houston-area entrepreneur Dannette Davis of Kay Davis Associates and created by sculptor Adrienne Rison-Isom.
“This is a sit-down piece. This isn’t a monument where it towers over people when you walk by. George was a promising man, he was among the common people,” Rison-Isom said. “I want people to gather around with their friends and family, talk to each other and ask questions about his life that was quickly taken away from our community.”
The film is 40 minutes long and offers an in-depth and intimate look at the thought process behind the creation of the monument. Rison-Isom said it took about six months’ worth of changes and communication between Davis and Floyd’s family about how Floyd should be represented through the monument. She also said that the statue represents a younger version of Floyd, very different from the photos and artwork we currently see of him today.
“Telling all sides of a person’s story, whether good or bad, is important to the artistic process. We found out a lot more about him after he died and he had a lot going for him,” she said. “Everything is a learning process and I hope that when people see the film, especially young people, that they think about who they are and the space they take up in this world, because they matter.”