CULTURE & ARTS

How One Photograph Prompted Colin Powell To Support Obama

The photograph features a mother hugging the tombstone of her Muslim-American son, a soldier.

Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell was encouraged to support Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election after witnessing Islamophobia within his own party -- and after seeing one particular photograph.

Captured by Platon, who's photographed many of the world's top leaders, the portrait shows a woman at Arlington National Cemetery hugging the tombstone of her Muslim-American son who died fighting in the Iraq War in 2007. The image was featured in The New Yorker as part of a series on members of the U.S. military called "Service."

Platon recalls Powell explaining how that photo series inspired him to announce -- just 16 days before the 2008 election -- that he would be endorsing Obama because of anti-Muslim sentiments in the Republican Party. Hear the story behind the photograph and why its message is still relevant as we approach the 2016 election in the video above.

This video was produced by Will Tooke and edited by Alfred Marroquin.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Obama 2016
CONVERSATIONS