Mural honoring George Floyd unveiled outside of his high school alma mater in Houston

Mural honoring George Floyd unveiled outside of his high school alma mater in Houston
© Houston ISD

A Black Lives Matter mural honoring George Floyd was unveiled over the weekend in Houston by local leaders just outside of the high school he graduated from.

The mural, which spans two blocks, was installed in front of Jack Yates High School, where Floyd attended classes and played on the football team during his time as a student. It was unveiled on Saturday during a ceremony, which was attended by Floyd’s former teammates, his family and Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeBest shot at narrowing racial homeownership gap at risk, progressives say Youth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda MORE (D-Texas), among other leaders. 

During the unveiling, Houston Mayor Sylvester TurnerSylvester TurnerAfrican American Mayors Association says they'll coordinate with White House, others to take in Afghans Texas lt. governor faces backlash after claiming unvaccinated African Americans responsible for COVID-19 surge Climate Mayors are building back better — now Congress must act MORE (D) said in a direct message to Floyd’s family that the mural on the road is a “public statement” affirming that “the life and death of George Floyd is not in vain and that 8 minutes and 46 seconds are still being resonated throughout the globe.”

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The mayor was referring to the amount of time a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest in May. Footage of the arrest and news of Floyd’s subsequent death sparked outrage across the country and months of protests against police brutality and racial inequality. 

“I just want you to know that because of his life and his death, reforms are being made on the way we — of law enforcement all over the country. Even right here in the city of Houston, we are learning to do things better, to be more respectful and to value life even more,” he said. 

In her remarks at the ceremony over the weekend, Jackson Lee, who was joined by members of Floyd’s family on stage, said she wanted “the Floyd family to be looked upon, my description, as loving, as strong, but as overcomers, as people who have given messages for peace.

"All the time that they mourned and suffered, what they did was to show to the world the legacy of African Americans who did not have bitterness against police, did not have bitterness against their neighbor.”

“The journey of the Floyd family started way before they lost their beloved brother. And the journey does not end today, and it will not end, because their work is yet undone … They go in the name of Breonna Taylor, they go in the name of Jacob Black, and they go in the name of even Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice,” she added, pointing to the names of other Black Americans whose deaths at the hands of police or others caused outrage.

According to a local CNN affiliate, leaders and local groups teamed up to commission the project, including the Houston Society for Change; 88 C.H.U.M.P., which is a nonprofit social activism organization founded by Floyd’s former football teammates; and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. 

The Houston Independent School District said a graduate from the same high school, artist Jonah Elijah, created the mural along with local volunteers.

During the ceremony, footage released by the school district on Saturday also showed some of Floyd’s former football teammates and classmates release balloons in his honor.