The hug shared round the world

The Hug

(Image: Johnny Nguyen/Special to the Oregonian)

Above, in this globally viral photo, Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart during a Ferguson demonstration in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 25, 2014. Hart was standing in the crowd, tears in his eyes, holding a sign saying “Free Hugs.”

Barnum noticed the young man and started a conversation with him about the demonstration, school, and life. Then he pointed to the sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?”

He did.



Categories: racism, Society

12 replies

  1. What a pity this is the exception rather than the rule 😦 Picture like this mus be in line for photograph of the year

  2. Excellent posting, PT! Wish this would hurry up and become the norm all over– so weary of the injury and death reports, the acts of violence from peaceful protests, and the biased reporting….

    • Me too. I think that’s why I keep coming back to this photo rather than read any other news. Normally you have to do some digging to find heartwarming stuff like this and then, too often, it’s animal stories instead of people stories. This picture isn’t the whole story, though. Check the link about Devonte. He’s a remarkable young man — and more of a man than those rioting in Ferguson.

      • Wow, the story was as good as the photo. Think i missed the link due to screen glare– thanks for the direction!

        • Amazing, isn’t it, to read how he began life and see what he’s become. I don’t have words for it.

          • And what an amazing couple that have adopted him and others, they are the true great heroes not the overpaid over exposed sports people.

            Once again I find Oregon in the news and both occasions have raised my interest and respect. They allowed Bethany Maynard to die peacefully and they allow same sex couples to adopt and raise children. I think that the government and people have a great deal going for them.

            Too they are very quite about their acheivements, a role model state that many others need to emulate, well from where I sit thats what it seems.

            Sorry now that I never visited that state.

            • My sister lived there for a few years and loved it. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about it, and I’m impressed by the way they do things. I wish the nation would follow their lead.

  3. The more of this “we” put out there, the more we douse the sorrow. Great story, thanks.

  4. A wonderful photo. I think where we live this sort of scene would be more common than the “burn the bitch” stuff, although there was a history of racial violence in the state years ago. That is not to say we don’t have many more steps to take on the journey toward true brotherhood, justice, and equality

    • I’ve seen so many instances of neighbor helping neighbor, and communities pulling together in the face of disaster. I like to think the photo is still the norm, not the exception, in most of America, and that it serves as an important reminder that despite the headlines, this is what we are.

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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