Angela Davis Meets With The Natural Hair Protesters From Pretoria Girls High And Our Hearts Melt 
Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty

Angela Davis’ afro is almost as iconic as the tireless work the legendary civil rights activist has done while fighting for equality in the Black community and beyond. And while her hair is no doubt beautiful, it has also been criticised and politicized — which is why her recent encounter with the fearless girls who protested the policing of their natural hair in South Africa is so important. 

That moment happened earlier this month at the 17th annual Steve Biko Foundation Lecture in Pretoria, South Africa, where Davis was on hand to give a speech. 

The powerful image, which was captured by photographer Leila Dee Dougan, illustrates the beauty and strength of black women as it spans across generations. However, it also shows that the struggle to be free in the way we express ourselves is still ongoing. 

Davis, 72, is seen talking with Pretoria Girls High student Zulaika Patel, 13, as they both proudly wear their hair in the high and mighty state it was intended. This meeting of the minds is exactly the kind of fellowship needed to support the next generation fighting the good fight.