Last weekend’s Baton Rouge protests brought many memorable photos, but this stunning image became an instant classic. The already iconic photo of a woman standing calmly while being arrested by police dressed in riot gear struck a chord of contrasts. Photographer Jonathan Bachman snapped the image of Ieshia L. Evans, who became the object of media curiosity. A little digging revealed that Evans is a mother and nurse who hails from Brooklyn. She spent many hours in jail after making a stand, but she likely never meant to become famous.
Evans has now spoken out publicly for the first time since her arrest. She landed in Baton Rouge on behalf of an association, Young Minds Can, who spoke with the Wrap and commended Evans for having a “Rosa Parks moment” that will inspire generations. The group’s founder, Jay Morrison, confirms that Evans never planned this photo. It simply happened naturally through her strength and desire to make a difference after watching the violence that unfolded during the previous week. Evans also broke her silence with an official “fearless” statement:
“It’s time for us to be fearless and take our power back … When the police pushed everyone off the street, I felt like they were pushing us to the side to silence our voices and diminish our presence. They were once again leveraging their strength to leave us powerless. As Africans in America we’re tired of protesting that our lives matter, it’s time we stop begging for justice and take a stance for our people. It’s time for us to be fearless and take our power back.”
Indeed, all of the violence that happened last week, including the death of five Dallas police officers, has spawned nationwide events where police clashed with protesters. In sharp contrast to all of the senseless bloodshed, the image of one silent woman speaks as powerfully as the strongest speeches. To be certain, words can and will spread a valuable message, but Evans ensured that her quiet and resolute stance will remain a vivid memory.
(Via The Wrap)