Politics is cynical, nasty and overly depressing—especially these days—which is why images like these are so important.
BuzzFeed caught up with the man who took the photo, Ben Hines of North Carolina, and he said that this little girl couldn't take her eyes off the portrait. Per BuzzFeed:
He said the unidentifed girl was excited and full of energy. As her mom tried to get her to turn around to face her for a picture, he said the girl would not cooperate and just wanted to stare at the painting.
“I think we were all just smiling, and her joy and her awe was infectious,” he said.
Donna [Ben's mom] said time seemed to stop as everyone around the little girl watched the moment.
“It's hard to describe in words,” Donna said. “She had such wonder on her face and her entire body just stopped as she looked at her, and she had this wonder that was silent and yet seemed to be saying something very big at the same time.”
Amy Sherald, who painted the portrait, spoke about this powerful photo on Instagram.
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In a country devoid of many non-white men in positions of power, this photo says it all. We can only hope that the symbolism in these photos will translate into a tangible change in leadership for future generations.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.