Iconic photo goes viral

Photo by Brian Washington Jr. and Doyin Johnson

It has been said that a picture speaks a thousand words. The photo above of Black medical students at Tulane University posing in front of a former slave plantation in Wallace, Louisiana has captured the attention of the nation partly because it sits in stark contrast to the place Africans held in America 400 years ago. It spans four centuries, years of unspeakable hardship, and captures just how far we descendants of slaves have come.

“Just thinking about being a Black doctor in America—I think more people should see this,” said Russell Ledet in a recent television news interview. “Standing in front of the slave quarters of our ancestors at The Whitney Plantation, with my medical school classmates, we are truly our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” Ledet wrote on Twitter.

“You will rarely find an image of Black medical students in a classroom, regardless of the makeup of the kids in the classroom,” Ledet said. “That’s our goal now, to get 100,000 of these pictures framed, and put them in classrooms.”

 Ledet said he and his Tulane classmates planned the trip and photos hoping that others would be inspired by the image of Black doctors-to-be.

Merle Carter, an emergency medical doctor in Philadelphia, tweeted, “The hopes and dreams born inside that house are inside of you now.”