Photo of 3-year-old girl reaching out to Harriet Tubman mural goes viral

A photo capturing a little girl in Maryland reaching out to a mural of Harriet Tubman is going viral after people across the country have reacted to its powerful message.

Three-year-old Auriah Duncan, referred to as “Lovie,” was taking a walk downtown with her grandmothers, Tracy and Tammy Lynndee, when the three turned a corner and saw the newly-painted mural displaying the abolitionist leader. Tracy tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Lovie was “kind of startled” by the hyper-realistic image of Tubman at first, but quickly responded to it.

“She wanted to go up and give [Harriet] a high-five,” Tracy explains of Lovie’s reaction. “So she went over and put her hand up there and I took a picture.”

Tracy posted the photo to her Facebook page, writing “Lovie meets Harriet,” before her wife Tammy encouraged her to post it to their local art store’s page as well. From there, it immediately attracted the attention of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center, who commissioned the piece by local artist Michael Rosato, and thousands of its followers.

“We think this mural will be providing a lot of powerful moments like this!” the museum’s post reads.

Another museum in Texas also reached out to the Maryland store owners to ask to share the image. Tracy says it’s transcending states because it depicts something “much bigger than Lovie.”

“It kind of transports you right to [Harriet’s] struggle, and everything that that means,” Tracy says. “And then you have a little one placing her hand on it. I get choked up a little bit, but I can’t imagine Lovie going through that.”

Now, days after taking the photo, Tracy is hopeful that the image will continue to bridge gaps amongst the people who share joy in it. By the looks of the hundreds of people who have already shared sweet sentiments about it, it seems likely that it will.

“The mural itself is beautiful,” one commenter wrote, “the child taking her hand really tells a story!”

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