A group of Alabama mothers have gone viral this week thanks to a photo which aims to dispel the stigma of breastfeeding in the black community.
Shot by photographer Lakisha Cohill, the incredible photo shows the nine mothers wearing gold crowns and black outfits while proudly breastfeeding their small babies. Some of the mothers are even topless and it appears one is breastfeeding two children at the same time.
Reacting to the image’s hugely positive response, Cohill told Yahoo Lifestyle: “I had no idea it would go viral, I just wanted to spread a beautiful, positive message through art, because these images are so powerful, and tell so many beautiful stories. Each woman represents a different chapter, including the one behind the lens.”
The photoshoot came to fruition following a Facebook post by Angel Warren, who advertised for mothers to take part in the campaign for Black Breastfeeding Week.
Charity Moore, a 26-year-old mum who appears in the image, details the true essence of the shot, explaining: “We used crowns to remind each other that we are queens and to keep one another lifted. We chose to come together to normalise breastfeeding. And it’ll never be ‘normal’, unless it’s seen.”
“You have the natural and legal right to breastfeed your baby in whatever manner you see fit: covered, uncovered, in private, in public. Never let anyone else and their views dictate the choices you make for yourself.”
Moore also had a stern message against the often outspoken critics of public breastfeeding: “Stop treating breastfeeding like it’s some dirty shameful act that people should keep hidden and stop doing as soon as possible.
“Breastfeeding is an amazing part of life and should be celebrated, not treated like some dirty little secret. Did we take these photos for attention? We absolutely did, because we have to erase the stigma amongst the black community as it relates to breastfeeding.”
The mothers have become close friends since the photoshoot and have even formed a new support group, Chocolate Milk Mommies of Birmingham.