On Wednesday, I went to 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was killed by police Monday night.

Yesterday, I returned with a bare studio kit, set up on the sidewalk and asked a simple question: “What do you want to say?”

The memorial on the sidewalk had grown since the day before. The street was now covered in messages of grief, determination and hope. A mural of George was being painted on a wall. Cars blocked the streets. Families brought their children to bear witness to what had happened.

The crowd was a mix of activists, onlookers, clergy, mourners, artists.

Some people didn’t want to talk. Others did. Some of the most painful stories were too raw for people to want to share them publicly.

What do you want to say?

There was a mix of celebration, anger and tension. It felt like the evening protests would be large. It felt like the city would burn again, and it did.

I was reminded of a saying I once heard. I wish I knew where it came from. Don’t be outraged at the riot until you are first outraged at the conditions that give rise to it.

People are crying out to be heard.



  1. Kathleen McKay

    Thanks John for going to 38th and Chicago and listening….and of course taking your pictures. These are a balm…the personal messages…in the midst of fires.

    Liked by 1 person

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