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'They All Have A Different Story': Save The Boards Reminds Mpls. Of Impact Of George Floyd's Murder

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In the days after the murder of George Floyd, businesses in south Minneapolis were boarded up. Civil unrest left the city unrecognizable in parts of the Lake Street corridor and Uptown.

"These are definitely pieces of history," Kenda Zellner-Smith, the organizer behind Save the Boards Minneapolis, said.

Today many of those boards are at a warehouse in Minneapolis, and now go on display at different community events throughout the year.

"It's emotional every time I come in here," Zellner-Smith said, looking inside the warehouse.

Zellner-Smith was still processing Floyd's murder in June 2020. She started driving around with a friend collecting some of the boards after they came down.

Save the Boards Minneapolis
(credit: CBS)

"Those represented what I was feeling and I think a lot of other people that look like me and are darker than me were feeling at that time," she said.

Zellner-Smith said collecting the boards was therapy. She started asking others to look for them, too.

Soon she had dozens, and Save the Boards Minneapolis was born to preserve the boards and impact of that time.

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 put them on display back into the community at schools, businesses, and libraries.

"They all have a different story," Zellner-Smith said.

Today Save the Boards puts many of the boards on display at various events throughout the Twin Cities. They are also working on getting digital copies of each board.

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