Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Photograph by:
Tommy Oliver, American, born 1984  Search this
Subject of:
Dr. Melina Abdullah, American, born 1972  Search this
George Perry Floyd Jr., American, 1973 - 2020  Search this
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
Unidentified Woman or Women  Search this
Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles, American, founded 2013  Search this
H x W: 4480 pixels × 6720 pixels
File size: 172.3 MB
digital images
digital media - born digital
Place captured:
Century City, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
June 6, 2020
Photographer Tommy Oliver is an award-winning producer and cinematographer in television and film. Best known for his 2020 documentary 40 Years a Prisoner on HBO, his docuseries Black Love (2017–2020) on OWN, and his feature film The Perfect Guy (2015), Oliver challenges audiences to question their assumptions about race, gender, and family. The film Kinyarwanda (2011), which Oliver co-produced, weaves together narratives of resilience during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It won the Sundance Film Festival’s award for World Cinema Drama and was recognized as one of the top 10 films of 2011. This photograph is part of a broader portfolio of images taken during Black Lives Matter rallies in Los Angeles between May 31 and June 14, 2020.
A digital, black-and-white image of Dr. Melina Abdullah speaking at a Black Lives Matter protest in Century City, California. The image was taken by Tommy Oliver during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd. Abdullah stands in the right foreground and is shown from the waist up. She is turned in three-quarters profile, facing the left edge of the image. Her proper left arm is partially raised, and her hand is balled into a fist with her thumb out and pointing behind her. She is speaking into a black and silver tone microphone held in her proper right hand. She is wearing a black T-shirt with black and white text on the front that reads [BLACK LIVES MATTER] and [LOS ANGELES] printed above and below an illustration of the Los Angeles skyline. She also has a cloth face mask pulled down and resting on her collarbone, five beaded bangles around her proper left wrist, and a leather patchwork purse draped over her proper left shoulder. Gathered behind her are a number of protesters, most of whom are wearing face masks or other protective face coverings. Behind her, to her left, is a male protester holding up a large white sign with large dark text that reads [BLACK / LIVES / MATTER] with three letters accented with hearts. In the background are several multi-storied buildings, including a rounded building with rows of balconies.
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Justice  Search this
Photography  Search this
Police brutality  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Resistance  Search this
U.S. History, 2001-  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Tommy and Codie Oliver
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Tommy Oliver
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Media Arts-Photography
Black Lives Matter
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture