This is not my image. It was found on social media and I am sharing it to keep. I think it was captured by _adriennegrace_ on instagram. I haven’t been able to verify this.

It is the moment a man shouted profanities at Samantha Francine at a peaceful protest on 3 June 2020.

She raised her sunglasses to look the man square in the eyes as he screamed at her. It was a lesson her father taught her growing up.

“No matter the threat, always look them in the eye, so they have to acknowledge you’re human.”

On her Facebook page Samantha writes:

The words are still hard to find, but I wanted to share the one thing that did go through my mind in this moment.

As a child, I grew up with a single white father and who was originally from Chicago. He taught us from a young age that things were going to be different for us just because of the color of our skin.

One of the things he use to remind us constantly was that “no matter the threat, always look them in the eye so they have to acknowledge you’re human”.

My father past 16 years ago this month.

In this moment, those are the words that went through my head. When I lifted up my glasses, he saw me. I saw him. He was acting out fear, I know that.

I hold no malice in my heart for this man. I hope this moment will soften him. I hope he will be changed. But even if he isn’t, I am. Yes I had power this day, but I couldn’t have done it without all of the courageous people around me. We are stronger united…

Samantha was the epitome of grace and courage under fire that day. I don’t want to forget there are people like her in the world.

We are stronger united indeed.

4 Comments

  1. The power of this image is in its depiction of the irony of “strength”… mere physical strength versus that of character… the pathetic insecurity of intimidation by a schoolyard bully versus the admirable courage it takes to openly display one’s humanity. It challenges others to stand where they know there is an ethic and a character worth supporting.

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