A 26-year-old pregnant woman, identified only as Thema, took to the streets recently to hold up a handmade sign as she protested against racial injustice. She later posted a photo of herself at the protest to her Instagram page and the powerful photo went viral. She has since opened up about why she decided to protest and what message she hopes to send, according to Today.
In the black and white photo, Thema stood in front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Her pregnant belly was exposed and she extended her arms into the air to raise her sign, which she had written in big bold letters. She drew a raised fist at the bottom of the words.
“We are NOT carrying for 9 months, then struggling during labor for 9 hours just for you to kneel on their neck for 9 minutes!! Black Lives Matter,” the sign read.
The sign’s message and Thema’s determination to stand up for justice despite being very visibly pregnant struck a chord with many people as it began circulating around social media.
After watching the video of George Floyd, an African American man, die at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota police officers, Thema told Today she was deeply disturbed. Because she is about to welcome a child of her own into the world, she said she was particularly impacted by hearing that Floyd called out for his mother during the final moments before he died.
“The sign was my idea. For the past few nights, I could not sleep. I have been staying up all night with George Floyd heavy on my heart. The video of his death and hearing him cry out for his mother will forever be embedded in my head. I truly believe that when Mr. Floyd called out for his mother, all mothers were summoned, of all ages,” she stated.
When explaining the message behind her sign, Thema discussed the intense pain a woman goes through while giving birth as well as the many unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. Even still, she said this is only the beginning of the suffering for some mothers. For many, the suffering will endure as their child gets older and they have to fear for their life because of the color of their skin.
She stated that, throughout the protest, others rallied around her and ensured she was well hydrated.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, four officers — Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — have been arrested in connection to Floyd’s death.