June 20, 2020
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: 3 Signature Images of the George Floyd Protests

Every two weeks, Michael Shaw and Cara Finnegan discuss recent news photos on our “Chatting the Pictures” webcast. In the latest episode, we are joined by educator and writer John Edwin Mason. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the media and social media have been filled with powerful and disturbing protest photos. We focused on some different kinds of images from this historic moment. Specifically, these pictures deal with the protests and self-representation, and the racial divide in public space.

By Staff

About the Video

The first photo was taken by Ruddy Roye for National Geographic. It shows a man in New York, Kyle Errison, raising a fist in solidarity with marchers chanting “Justice for George Floyd.”

The second photo was taken by photographer Nathan Aguirre. It features high school graduate Deveonte Joseph wearing his cap and gown to a Minneapolis protest the night after George Floyd’s murder. We also discuss the connection to famed photographer Gordon Parks as a high school in his name is almost in view.

The third photo, by Krishna Sharma, was published along with his opinion piece in the Athens Banner Herald. It features a group of graduating seniors, notably wearing sorority letters, posing for a photo in front of the University of Georgia Arch while a group of masked protesters demonstrate in response to the death of George Floyd.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

The Full Edit

Take a closer look at some of the images from our larger photo edit.

Photo: Ruddy Roye/National Geographic

Caption: Kyle Errison raises a fist in solidarity with marchers who chanted “Justice for George Floyd.” Errison says, “I have been harassed by NYPD and in a way I understand this struggle personally.”

Photo by Nathan Aguirre.

Caption: High school graduate, Deveonte Joseph. St. Paul, MN.

Photo: Krishna Sharma
Caption: A group of graduating seniors, notably wearing sorority letters, pose for a photo in front of the Arch, while a group of masked protesters demonstrate as part of a nationwide response to the death of George Floyd.
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Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Communication Professor, University of Illinois. Author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression and Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs. Moderator, Reading the Pictures Salon.

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John Edwin Mason

John Edwin Mason teaches African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia. He is writing a book about Gordon Parks, the African American photographer, writer, and filmmaker.


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