Tribute to George Floyd

July 08, 2020 0 Comments

Tribute to George Floyd

Near the end of the Haitian Revolution, General Toussaint L’Ouverture’s final attempt at diplomacy with the French resulted in his capture and imprisonment and ultimately led to his death in a French prison. But this Great Leader understood something the French failed to grasp -

“In overthrowing me you have done no more than cut down the tree trunk of Black Liberty in St. Domingue, it will spring back from the roots, for they are numerous and deep.”

His words rang truer than true, the Revolution continued with a vengeance and victory was won for the only successful slave revolt in human history, resulting in the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere.

Yet, here we are, all of humanity, over 200 years later still fighting for Black Liberty, Social Justice, and Racial Equality. The struggle continues…

The recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of the establishment sworn to serve and protect has reminded us that the call for justice is yet to be answered and the battle is yet to be won.

As the shocking video of Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd lying face down in the street flooded social media, the outrage of the world was awakened. George Floyd’s cries for his mother and begging for his life, “I can’t breathe…, ” followed by his unconscious silence as the officer remained on his neck for three more excruciating minutes while civilians nearby begged for his life,  broke the hearts, stirred the compassion, and ignited the passion of people worldwide. Hearts ablaze, the bonfire of protest was ignited and burns across the globe. This is a fire that should be fed until the cries for Equality, Liberty, and Solidarity are answered with freedom for all.

The life of George Floyd was cut down, but the roots demanding Justice are numerous and deep. They have become stronger and grown further and deeper with every tree that has been cut down. They have reached people of every color and ethnicity around the world. There were some who took to the streets in peaceful protests, some who rioted, looted, and burned, some who raised their voices on social media and in political platforms, and some who used their creativity to express their grief and anger.

Haitian artist and professor of Sculpture at the National School of Arts (ENARTS), Caymitte Woodly (Filipo), chose to use his talent and immortalize George Floyd, whose death has awakened the world to the rampant existence of police brutality and a broken and unjust system, by creating a sculpture of him – a timeless reminder of “a man who once lived, but has died under police brutality.”

No matter how many times “the establishment” cuts down the trunk of the tree, the eternal roots of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity will spring forth in the hearts and wills of humanity until this system has been broken and Social and Racial Justice are achieved. We have called for Reform time and time again – our voices seeming to echo across the void of Injustice. Without Reform, we are left with only one solution- Revolution!

Featured artwork courtesy of  Caymitte Woodly (Filipo)

 






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