Amber Green, a photographer who decided to document a protest in Chicago after the death of George Floyd because she “has an 11-year-old son” ended up capturing one of the most powerful moments of the day: a mother named D’Asia Hervey weeping as she holds her baby up to the window of the car they are sitting in, allowing him to see the scene of the protest unfold.
“I know what those tears meant,” she told ‘Good Morning America’. “Black mothers have to think about ‘the conversation’ they will have to have with their sons. We tell them, ‘When — not if, when — you are detained by the police, do what they say. Keep your ID on you. All we want is for you to come home alive.'”
Hervey, mother to a 7-month-old son named Matthew had doubts about attending the protest, yet the 24-year-old was convinced by her own mother to participate.
Hervey’s mom, Stephanie Woodall-Wilson, says she was a victim of police brutality in the ’90s, when she was “attacked by three cops for just driving by them” after dropping her children off at their babysitter. Having grown up in a mostly black neighborhood in Chicago, Woodall-Wilson had a few white friends as a child, yet she is inspired by her children’s generation, who seem to have a growing acceptance of those that are different.
“I want D’Asia to understand why I was so worried and paranoid about her and her brothers,” Wilson told GMA. “There’s a reality Matthew will have to deal with.”
When Hervey saw the scene on the streets of her city, she became emotional. It was beautiful. “When I actually went and saw my own generation fighting, it was amazing,” she told TODAY Parents. “I told him to look at what everybody was doing for his future,” said Hervey. “And then, my mom was like, ‘Look, Matthew, this is for you — this is so people can understand that you are not a threat when you’re walking down the street.’”
Green shared the photos on Facebook, writing, “I don’t know this woman, yet our tears speak the same language of anger, pain and yes, fear for our sons … as the car started driving off, me and the mother locked eyes, gave each other the nod of the head and we both put our fist on the air.”
Her post quickly went viral with many of Hervey’s friends tagging her in the post. This enabled the young mother and the photographer to connect. Hervey hopes the images will speak to people and illustrate the challenges that the mothers of black children face, knowing that sooner or later they may encounter law enforcement.