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Photo by Kris Graves ’04 on National Geographic Cover

The much-anticipated annual “Year in Pictures” issue features a photo taken during Black Lives Matter protests.

On his first assignment for National Geographic last June, Kris Graves ’04 took photographs of Confederate statues along Richmond, VA’s Monument Avenue, which were being removed one by one during the Black Lives Matter protests. Read the story “Toppling statues is a first step toward ending Confederate myths” here. 

One particularly powerful photo from the piece was selected for the cover of the January 2021 issue, National Geographic’s annual “Year in Pictures,” published in December 2020. The image reveals a photo of a monument depicting Robert E. Lee mounted on a horse atop a massive pedestal covered with graffiti. Taken at night, the letters BLM are projected on the horse and the face of George Floyd on the base.

View more photos on the Nat Geo Instagram account and a video detailing the production of the issue on national

See an interview with Graves about the cover.