Sometimes a picture is worth way more than a thousand words.
Ben Hines, 37, from North Carolina, captured the inspiring moment while visiting the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. He shared the image of the girl, who he didn’t know, to Facebook. It’s now going viral.
“It was so touching and uplifting for me to see this beautiful child looking at a beautiful portrait of a powerful woman,” Hines told BuzzFeed. “I was so delighted to have been in the right place at the right time.”
Parker’s mother, Jessica Curry, said her daughter “just wanted to stare at” the painting. “She was fascinated.”
Hines’ photograph ended up attracting Sherald’s attention. The Baltimore-based artist said on Instagram that the snap had her “feeling all the feels.”
Sherald recalled how seeing a Bo Bartlett painting of a black man during an elementary school trip made her realize she could become an artist.
During the ceremony, Michelle Obama said she was “thinking about all of the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall.”
Hines’ photo was well-received on Twitter, where people hailed it for demonstrating exactly why representation matters.
This picture is so important. It's one thing to be told you're capable of great things. It's another to view evidence that you are.— Särah Nour (@SaCha1689) March 2, 2018
This is for all those who tell me I'm too negative, and never post anything positive. Feast your eyes on this gorgeousness... pic.twitter.com/REKjjVUIRu— Evan Handler (@EvanHandler) March 2, 2018
This little girl beholding Michelle Obama's portrait is everything that's right when so much feels very wrong. ️ https://t.co/j9PqUIfBBA— Kristen Kieffer (@KAKieffer) March 2, 2018
"I'm also thinking of all the young people...who will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall in this great American institution. I know the impact that will have on their lives, b/c I was one of those girl." - Michelle Obama, 2/12/18— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) March 2, 2018
March 1: pic.twitter.com/rPcGBJUZPd
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.