A statue of Robert E. Lee has stood in historic city of Richmond, Virginia, for over a century. But on Tuesday night, the focus wasn’t on the Confederate general, but instead George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of police.
A hologram of Floyd lit up the statue on Monument Avenue, which has since been covered in spray paint with phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop White Supremacy” following the widespread protests demanding racial equality.
The area in which the statue sits was named unofficially named by protesters as the Marcus David Peters Circle, a reference to the Black biology teacher who was killed by police while experiencing a “mental health crisis,” according to CNN affiliate WHSV.
“A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project” was created by Change.org and the George Floyd Foundation. Floyd’s family was able to get a preview of it on Monday night during a private event held at the site of the former Jefferson Davis monument.
“Since the death of my brother George, his face has been seen all over the world,” Rodney Floyd, brother of George Floyd said in a statement. “Now by partnering with Change.org, the hologram will allow my brother’s face to be seen as a symbol for change in places where change is needed most.”
The hologram show features a “myriad of fireflies that form into a beautiful image of George Floyd,” according to a news release. His name is depicted in graffiti, mirroring the mural memorials that have popped up around the world to remember his life.
The event at the Lee statue was just the first of five stops in North Carolina, Georgia and other states this week. Following the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the hologram will replace Confederate statues as a “symbolic call to continue the fight for racial justice,” the project’s organizers said.
Black artists, musicians, poets and leaders will be attending to commemorate the launch.