LONG BEACH, Calif. — A 25-year-old mom, who was proud to share her college graduation with her daughter, captured the memory of the day with a photograph of her breast feeding her infant child.
Dressed in her cap and gown, Karlesha Thurman snapped a picture of her breast feeding her 3-month-old daughter on May 22 during her commencement ceremony from California State University Long Beach.
She then shared the photo on her Twitter feed as well as the Facebook page Black Women Do Breastfeed, an online forum and community hub for black mothers.
Shortly after that, the photo went viral and prompted a digital debate.
Some offered words of support for the recent college grad and mom, congratulating her on both completing her degree and being a new mom.
But others took to the Twittersphere, full of negative commentary on of the image.
“I’m all for breast feeding. But at a graduation come on y’all that was inappropriate,” @jerseygrad2016 tweeted.
Thurman fired back with tweets of her own, maintaining her stance that she was not doing anything wrong by breast feeding her daughter at the ceremony.
She also spoke to the media.
“I was proud of the fact that not only did I graduate, but that I got to share the moment with the one person who is the most important to me and that is my daughter,” Thurman told the Today Show.
Thurman said she’s surprised by the controversy her photo has stirred up.
Yet public breast feeding continues to be a polarizing topic.
She received a response from Delta, but, was more shocked, by the responses from others that started filling up her Twitter feed.