Group Of Black Med Students Pose In Front Of Former Slave Quarters To Spread Powerful Message
@theguywithyes (Twitter)

Russell J. Ledet is a second-year medical student in Tulane University School of Medicine's M.D./MBA program.

Last weekend he organized a trip for his fellow black colleagues to a historic plantation.

The result is now a series of powerful images that have gone viral on social media.

The trip was coordinated through the Tulane chapter of the Student National Medical Association which is a student-run organization that supports black medical students.

A group of 15 African-American med students visited the Whitney Plantation, presently a museum in Edgard, Louisiana. The future doctors all wore short white coats, symbols of their medical training, and posed in front of former slave quarters.

Ledet's idea for the trip was inspired in part by his childhood.

"I don't think as a kid I ever saw a minority physician."

While Ledet may not have ever seen a minority physician as a child, his photo proves that the face of medicine is changing rapidly.

He posted the photo to Twitter with the caption,

"We are our ancestors' wildest dreams. In the background, an original slave quarter. In the foreground, original descendants of slaves and medical students."

Another photo was posted by his classmate.

The two Tweets have been liked and shared thousands of times.

While speaking about the importance of the location of the photo, Ledet said,

"I wanted this photo to just show: We're here. This place is meant to destroy us. This place is meant to devalue us. But we here. [sic]"

His classmate, Sydney Labat added that they are not "going anywhere". She further explained her feelings about the photo.

"This is about resiliency."

Labat also explained that the students wanted to make sure that their poses captured them,

"looking determined and looking strong — embodying the strength of the people who lived on those grounds."

Not only does the photograph show their strength, but it also shows that despite historical adversity, they can have it all.

"[You] can be smart, you can be a doctor, you can be unapologetically black — all of those simultaneously."

Russell, who formerly served in the U.S. Navy and has a Ph.D. in molecular oncology from New York University, is focused on the impact this photograph can have on future generations of medical professionals.

"We are aware of our position and what we mean to a whole lot of children. A whole lot of undergrads are hoping and praying to get an interview for medical school, or even somebody to just look at their application. We're here as living proof that it's possible. If we can do it, anybody can do it."

Barely one week later (at the time of this article's writing), the photos have already made a huge impact on the internet.













There is no doubt that these students have already positively impacted many people's lives.

The multiple miniseries Roots: The Complete Collection is available here.

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