Starting this week, LinkNYC, the network providing free Wi-Fi service kiosks throughout New York City, has been displaying the names of Black men and women who have lost their lives to police brutality. Beginning on June 2nd, Blackout Tuesday, the names of figures like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, and Ahmaud Arbery were displayed on these kiosks with a black background. Each name is shown for about five seconds before switching to another name, and this cycle continues throughout each day and night. The series began with 10 names, and as of yesterday, a total of 30 are cycling through.

George Floyd LinkNYC Blackout TuesdayPhoto courtesy LinkNYC

“We wanted to honor the theme of #BlackoutTuesday, evoking the black screens people were posting on social media and sharing the names of victims of systemic racism and brutality,” the LinkNYC team told us. “We also wanted to show solidarity with the protesters who have taken to the streets throughout the five boroughs to stand up against racism and injustice.”

Trayvon Martin LinkNYC Blackout TuesdayPhoto courtesy LinkNYC

According to the team, LinkNYC tried to find a proper balance between respectful reflection and impact. While past installations on the kiosks have been colorful with images of New York sites and culture, this project stripped away design elements, letting the names speak for themselves with simple white type on a black backdrop.

Breonna Taylor LinkNYC Blackout TuesdayPhoto courtesy LinkNYC

With the demonstrations in New York City on its ninth day, we asked the LinkNYC team whether the initiative would continue. They tell us, “The situation in NYC changes every day. Our plan right now is to run this in some form through the weekend and likely beyond.”

Next, check out our Guide to Black-Owned Restaurants in NYC’s Five Boroughs.

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