Five Years Later, Two Ferguson Protestors Reflect on the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photo that Captured their Anguish — and Connection

Recorded August 16, 2019 Archived August 16, 2019 02:24 minutes
Id: APP652067


Five years ago, when news of Michael Brown Jr.’s police shooting death spread, two strangers made their way to the Ferguson Police Department to protest. A local photographer, Robert Cohen, captured the moment.

In the photo, a young African American man’s face is twisted in anguish, tears streaming down his cheeks. Next to him, an older woman extends her hand to his shoulder in comfort.

The photo would go on the win the Pulitzer Prize, along with 18 other photos taken by photographers with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Earlier this summer, those two strangers, Jamell Spann and Elizabeth Vega, came to StoryCorps to remember that pivotal moment, and the friendship that grew out of it.


  • Jamell Spann
  • Elizabeth Vega

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