On the day of her graduation from the University of the Sunshine Coast, 24-year-old Jacci Sharkey posed proudly for a photo in her cap and gown while breastfeeding her baby boy Alek. The Australian mother-of-two later sent the photo and a thank-you message to the her university, which the school shared on its official Facebook page. Within days, it had over 200,000 likes.
Black Woman Receives Backlash for Breast-Feeding Baby During Her College Graduation
By Yesha Callahan
A 25-year-old woman has sparked controversy after posting a photo of herself breast-feeding her baby at her college graduation ceremony.
Karlesha Thurman, who was attending her California State University, Long Beach graduation, posted the breast-feeding photo to a Facebook page called Black Women Do Breastfeed, which celebrates black women who opt out of formula and rely on their own milk resources. Once the Facebook page posted the photo, it immediately went viral.
But there were those who felt the photo was abnormal or blasted the young mother for even having a baby to begin with.
I'm all for breast feeding. But at a graduation come on y'all that was inappropriate
— Souls of Black Folk (@jerseygrad2016) June 8, 2014
That picture of the girl breast feeding her baby at graduation was not "empowering" at all.
— Mexican Vampire (@lovelylooksz) June 9, 2014
Not to mention the fact that she took a picture. Like breastfeeding is one thing, at/during a graduation in public is another AND a picture?
— Slim. (@whatdidaprilsay) June 8, 2014
But Thurman was not without her supporters, including former NFL star Chad Johnson:
Breast feeding & graduation (nice combo) RT @POPSS0N: BRUH pic.twitter.com/dBkygaj9QN
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) June 8, 2014