On Sunday, dozens of protesters assembled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – where a black man’s life was ended by police last week.
One photo from the protest, posted on Facebook by Shaun King of the New York Daily News, has stood out over the rest.
Leshia Evans, a 28-year-old mother from New York, is the stoic and strong woman featured in a Baton Rouge protest photo that many – especially on social media – are already hailing as iconic. The BBC calls it legendary. Others are comparing it to famous symbols of resistance.
In the photo, Evans stands defiantly, but silently, in a flowing black-and-white sundress and stares down two police officers wearing armor. The picture was taken in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, July 9, where Evans had joined a protest in the death of Alton Sterling, a Baton Rouge man who was shot to death by police officers outside a convenience store.
Sterling’s shooting was captured on cell phone video, and has led to protests throughout the nation; police say his death, along with that of Philando Castile in Minnesota, helped motivate the Dallas police shooter. The Baton Rouge protests were among many in American cities in the past week.
Social media has erupted in praise for Evans, and she’s quickly becoming a symbol of resistance.
One particular comment on the post, made by Jami West, called it a legendary picture that “will be in history and art books from this time”. She wrote:
“Look at her posture. She is balanced, powerful, upright and well grounded with both feet firmly planted on the earth. Look at the line made from the crown of her head to the heels of her feet. She is only protected by the force of her own personal power.
By contrast, the officers have the transitory, temporary, protection of their equipment that will be removed at the end of their shift. They are rocked back on their heels, knocked off balance, and appear about to fall over backward, just from the power of her.
This is a legendary picture. It will be in history and art books from this time.”