18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Power at the Square

Akeem Thompson poses for a portrait at the George Floyd memorial on September 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN. Although Akeem lives within 40 minutes of Cup Food, it was his first time at the site. Health concerns during the pandemic kept him from visiting and protesting despite a desire to do so. The day we met, he’d felt the time was right to make the trip into Minneapolis, arriving early to beat the crowds. ⁣ “Honestly, this space is overwhelming. Very overwhelming. I’ve been trying to absorb every single moment, read every single thing that every person wrote down, because everyone has a message. I’m trying to have their messages come to the front. And the most interesting thing happened when I came. I parked in front of a church, and there was this sign that talked about how everyone can play their part [in the social justice movement]. I was reading the sign, really trying to take it, then a gust of wind came so hard and the sign fell down. At first, I was fearful to touch it—like it wasn’t my place and because of COVID and my own health. But then, you know, I was just hugging wood. Trying to pick the sign back up. Trying to pick up the scene, to just help out.”⁣

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
Camera: X-Pro2
Copyright: © Tim Evans