MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) In the days after the murder of George Floyd, shops in southern Minneapolis were closed. Civil unrest made the city unrecognizable in parts of the Lake Street Corridor and Uptown.
“These are definitely pieces of history,” said Kenda Zellner-Smith, organizer of Save the Boards Minneapolis.
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Today, many of these plaques are in a warehouse in Minneapolis and are now displayed at various community events throughout the year.
“It’s emotionally charged every time I come in here,” Zellner-Smith said, looking into the warehouse.
Zellner-Smith was still in the process of dealing with Floyd’s murder in June 2020. She started driving around with a friend and collecting some of the boards after they came down.
“They represented what I felt and I think a lot of other people who look like me and are darker than I felt at the time,” she said.
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Zellner-Smith said assembling the boards was therapy. She also started asking others to look for them.
Soon she had dozens, and Save the Boards Minneapolis was born to preserve the boards and impact of the day.
The boards range from those painted by Minneapolis artists to others with spray-painted messages by people in the community.
Save the Boards Minneapolis now has close to 400 boards. The goal is to show them back in the community at schools, businesses and libraries.
“They all have a different story,” Zellner-Smith said.
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Today, Save the Boards shows many of the boards at various events in the Twin Cities. They are also working on getting digital copies of each board.