7. Pictures That Tell a Thousand Stories

Eunique Jones Gibson has made history go viral by using her photography skills to connect children to our past.

“Because of Them, We Can” started out as a Black History Month project with children, including tiny tots, portraying pioneers such as Shirley Chisholm, Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis and Frederick Douglass in photos, each with a memorable quote. The children captured by Gibson’s lens, their peers around the country and even adults have been inspired to dig deeper into the history of icons as well as unsung pioneers.

Eunique Jones Gibson documents history in a different way. (Photo: Because of Them, We Can)

Eunique Jones Gibson documents history in a different way. (Photo: Because of Them, We Can)

Admirers became so enamored with the campaign that they begged Gibson to continue it year-round. She has since quit her job to work full time on what started as a “passion project” with an “I Am Trayvon Martin” photo campaign.

“Because of Them, We Can” has expanded to include video, books and a line of products such as backpacks, calendars, posters, onesies and T-shirts — some customized to highlight legends within sororities and other organizations. Gibson has also launched series focusing on Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Black Music Month, and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act.

Gibson says these projects were inspired by the births of her two sons — the first coinciding with Barack Obama’s 2008 election by days and the second by a few months in 2012.

“I came to realize,” she says, “that my lens could truly serve as a microphone that could amplify the feelings, fears, dreams and even the pain of a community.” — Yanick Rice Lamb