I have begun to exit from my total COVID-19 lock down. My husband is a person at high risk for severe complications from COVID-19. We decided to stick to strict social distancing and other recommendations to keep both of us safe. Since New York City has reduced the number of infections significantly to below 1%, I’ve been venturing outside more.
During the height of the virus in New York, there were so many people protesting the death of George Floyd. We watched it from inside. A few days ago, I walked with a friend to Union Square in Manhattan, a central starting point of most demonstrations. There I found a colossal mural supporting Black Lives Matter. I was so moved by it I began filming with my cellphone to get a sense of it. I eventually went back with my video camera to record the experience. Here is what I found.
The artists divided the mural into two parts. On Union Square East, there are Black people’s names on grey painted plywood who have been killed by the police in the US and other countries. Feet and legs are moving forward from different cultures and places. It was, at once, a memorial to their lives and a celebration of their spirits. The grey tones also help one’s grief.
Around the corner On East 15th Street was something completely different. There were quotes by leaders of African American rights’ struggle on how to change these unjust situations from various decades. Once again, the plywood was grey, but the messages were is a bold and strong font. Not a scream, but a steady, honorable voice of encouragement to those who will struggle against this gaping in wound our society that has not yet been replaced with equal positive regard for all.
Here is what you will see if you come to New York City and walk around Union Square.