Exclusive: Gordan Jones, Man Behind the Viral Image of Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges

Carl Gordon Jones says he was asleep when the image he and his assistant Bria Goeller were responsible for creating went viral on a recent episode of the ‘Twins of Media’ LIVE Friday, Dec. 4. The image is, of course, that of Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges. Bridges’ story: A six-year-old in 1960, who integrated the previously all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Harris, born in Oakland, CA, to an Indian mother and Jamaican father making history as the first woman and woman of color Vice-President-Elect.

Gordon, the owner of Good Trubble, a Black-owned Bay Area business that creates political satirical designs, says, “On November 7, Saturday, I was sleep. My cousin called. She has a very big Facebook and Twitter social media presence in Michigan; she says, ‘Your image has gone viral!’ I was like, What are you talking about?!” Gordan said he and his team actually put the image up 8 or 9 days prior as a tease to introduce it on Kamala Harris’s birthday on October 10., before it went viral.

“When it did go viral, no one knew who the artist was, he says. “They were trying to find us, and then when we emerged, it’s like, Nah, Nah, we did this, and we had it copyrighted.”

So what exactly was the thought or concept behind pairing the two? “I was stepping outside of the box,” says Gordan. “As an African American man, I wanted to empower Kamala Harris.” He shares that Ruby Bridges was not the first person that came to mind to include along with Harris in the image. Barbara Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, Harriet Tubman were the different persons he thought of that were “powerful and undeniable leaders” in our history. When Bridges became part of the art, Gordan says, he was surprised at how the young people took an interest in the image and began researching Bridges’ history and the times of the 1960s.

In an emotional moment during the interview, Gordan reflects on his father, who passed away 3-days before the image went viral, and sees it as a “divine intervention,” he went on to say, “It wasn’t within me that this happened, it was something bigger than me. He (my dad) was the activist in the family. I guess it is in my DNA.

Yes, the man behind the viral artwork of 2020 with Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges says he is “Bridging yesterday and today with an empowering image.”

Watch the complete interview here.

Photo Credit: /Created by GoodTrubble, www.GoodTrubble.com