Time Magazine's Latest Cover Spotlights George Floyd Protests

Time Magazine's latest cover powerfully spotlights the death of George Floyd and widespread protests that it sparked. The cover os a painting titled Analogous Colors, by artist Titus Kaphar, and features a black mother holding her child. The child is cut out of the painting as a way of showing the tragic loss that Floyd's mother, and many others, have suffered. Floyd died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, during an arrest. Footage of the arrest revealed that Floyd cried out for his mother as he was being fatally restrained.

Explaining the painting, Kaphar wrote, "In her expression, I see the black mothers who are unseen, and rendered helpless in this fury against their babies." This statement is part of an accompanying poem that Kaphar wrote, titled "I Cannot Sell You This Painting," which profoundly expresses his deep feelings on what has been happening in America. "As I listlessly wade through another cycle of violence against Black people, I paint a Black mother… eyes closed, furrowed brow, holding the contour of her loss." Kaphar then asks, "Is this what it means for us? Are black and loss analogous colors in America?"

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He then referenced great Civil Rights Leaders from the past, as well as black citizens who were the victims of violence. "If Malcolm could not fix it, if Martin could not fix it, if Michael, Sandra, Trayvon, Tamir, Breonna and now George Floyd… can be murdered and nothing changes… wouldn’t it be foolish to remain hopeful?" He goes on to ask, "Must I accept that this is what it means to be Black in America?" In the conclusion of his poem, Kaphar writes, "One Black mother’s loss WILL be memorialized. This time I will not let her go. I can not sell you this painting."

Finally, the cover also features the names of 35 black men and women "whose deaths, in many cases by police, were the result of systemic racism and helped fuel the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement." The names are as follows: Trayvon Martin, Yvette Smith, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Jerame Reid, Natasha McKenna, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, William Chapman, Sandra Bland, Darrius Stewart, Samuel DuBose, Janet Wilson, Calin Roquemore, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Joseph Mann, Terence Crutcher, Chad Robertson, Jordan Edwards, Aaron Bailey, Stephon Clark, Danny Ray Thomas, Antwon Rose, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.