1. Angela Peoples
Peoples used the 2017 Women’s March to shed light on America’s elephant in the room. After Trump’s 2016 election, exit poll numbers found that 52 percent of women who identified as white, voted for Trump. As marchers descended upon the capitol in opposition to the election, People’s carried her sign and wore a hat that said, “Stop Killing Black People,” which helped her white allies to reckon with fact, not fiction.
2. Iesha Evans
The iconic photo of Evans standing her ground during her arrest after protesting the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile is a striking optic about the idea of two America’s. In an interview with HelloBeautiful she later said, “It’s not about me, I’m just a vessel. There is a movement happening and there are people like me standing up all across the country.”
3. Erica Garner
After a police chokehold silenced her father in death, Eric Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” were taken up by his daughter Erica. She fought relentlessly for justice in the eyes of her father’s senseless death. In this photo she is seen staging a die-in at the same spot where her father died a week after a grand jury failed to indict the officer involved in his death. Garner died of a massive heart attack in December 2017. She was 27-years-old.
4. Ericka Hart
Hart routinely seeks out to enforce body positivity and breast cancer awareness. Her image went viral after she was spotted at the 2016 Brooklyn Afropunk Festival, a yearly event that serves to highlight the diversity of the Black community.In 2014, she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy, in addition to chemo treatments. In 2015, she had reconstruction surgery on her breasts. Hart regularly appears topless at public events and on her social media channels increase visibility surrounding breast cancer, especially in queer communities.
5. Bree Newsome
In 2015, Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole outside of the South Caroline Statehouse and took down the Confederate flag. The act happened one week after Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, opened fire during a bible study Emanuel AME church, fatally shooting nine parishioners. “I removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015,” she said in a later statement.