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"She Just Did The Right Thing" Photographer Relives The Moment BLACK Teenager Saved WHITE Supremacist From Angry Mob


Photographer Mark Brunner has spoken about the enduring legacy of the pictures he took of a black teenager shielding a man from anti-KKK protestors in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1996

A photographer who captured an image of a black teenager shielding a supposed white supremacist from an angry mob has spoken about the enduring legacy of the pictures he took that day in 1996. 

The iconic images was taken in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during clashes between the Ku Klux Klan and anti-clan protestors.

In June 1996 the Klan held a rally outside the city hall with a small group of Klansmen dressed in white robes and hoods. 

Police dressed in riot gear and armed with tear gas were also present to protect the Klansmen from an estimated 300 people protesting against them. 

A large crowd of anti-clan protesters spotted a man with an SS tattoo and a confederate flag T-shirt and identified him as a probable Klansman.

Then a woman with a megaphone shouted, ‘There's a Klansman in the crowd.’


In a split second the crowd turned from peaceful protesters into an angry mob baying for blood. 

There were shouts of ‘Kill the Nazi’ and the man began to run - but he was knocked to the ground. A group quickly surrounded him, kicking him and hitting him with their placards. 

Then suddenly a black teenager in the group – 18-year-old Keshia Thomas – separated herself from the mob and threw herself on the man to protect him. 


A large crowd of anti-clan protesters spotted a man with an SS tattoo and a confederate flag T-shirt and after identifying him as a probable Klansman started to chase him

The powerful scene was captured on camera by student photographer Mark Brunner. 

‘She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her,’ Brummer recently told the BBC . 'Who does that in this world?'

Thomas, who still at high school at the time of the incident, now recalls how something within her caused her to empathize with the man's plight and so she stepped in to endanger her own life and protect someone she didn’t even know. 

‘When they dropped him to the ground, it felt like two angels had lifted my body up and laid me down,’ she said. 

Now in her 30s and living in Houston, Texas, Thomas continues to work to break down racial stereotypes every day, but prefers to concentrate on doing simple things rather than grand gestures.


Keshia Thomas, then 18, separated herself from the mob and threw herself on the man to protect him

‘The biggest thing you can do is just be kind to another human being. It can come down to eye contact, or a smile. It doesn't have to be a huge monumental act.’

The series of photos of Thomas stepping in to protect the unnamed man continues to inspire people to this day. 

‘We would all like to be a bit like Keshia, wouldn't we? She didn't think about herself. She just did the right thing,’ said Brunner.

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Comment by caribbeanrose on November 3, 2013 at 5:17pm

This black teenager did the right thing. May God bless her, but if it was the opposite those KKK f****** would not have done the same. Love makes the world go round

Comment by celina reyes on November 1, 2013 at 10:35am
This is something that really happen but they need to stop posting an crying wolf ,if you all want to teach ppl lesson right a book of keep plays on the streets,but stop crying wolf ,eventually no on will believe the truth
Comment by lisa on November 1, 2013 at 4:45am
She enen looks ridiculous doing this smh
Comment by vaughn mitchell on October 31, 2013 at 11:20pm

much respect.

Comment by Mr. Man on October 31, 2013 at 6:43pm

That goes to showthat Black people are peaceful people even when we are being  discriminate against.

Comment by celina reyes on October 31, 2013 at 3:47pm
You did what The Lord instructed you to do at that time,your blessings will be great
Comment by Jameson Adams on October 31, 2013 at 12:03pm

stockholm syndrome at work,.,,..,, save Massa! smfh

Comment by Fedora McClaren on October 30, 2013 at 9:50pm
I am with Beygum and Sharon on this one... Someone has to be the bigger person, or this war will continue (although it will anyways). There are.some people in the world who don't see "race". They just see people and their character, unlike a large amount of others. I applaud her for taking such a chance...
Comment by Mr. Johnson on October 30, 2013 at 8:34pm

The picture depicts a bunch of Crackers getting ready to beat up one of there own Cracker and this Crazy Negroe in need of a perm jumps into save this Devil? They should of beat her ass right along with him. The KKK group probably said to themselves " This N**** gots to be crazy"! Keisha shame on you. Now you want to keep a low profile? You need to go crawl under a rock. Next time the Cracker discriminates against you Keisha just look at the picture to see how dumb you look. Did the racist Cracker thank you handkerchief head negroe? Black Power!

Comment by Ricardo O'Connor on October 30, 2013 at 5:21pm
How many blacks do you know would have done this? Probably none. The KKK probably were saying to themselves, this n***** is crazy, don't she know who we are. With a slow down south redneck accent voice. Lol.

She's what a called brazy. Brave and crazy at the same time. You're outnumbered by a group of barbarics that used to lynched us for being black and you throw yourself on this white man was brave. I applaud you.

Not to be mean, but I guarantee she wouldn't have done this back in the 50' and 60's. These are watered down KKK anyway.

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