A group of Black medical students at Tulane University have garnered national attention for the photos they took over the weekend, posing in their white coats outside a former plantation's slave quarters.
Second-year medical student Russell Ledet, 33, came up with the idea after visiting the Whitney Plantation museum with his 8-year-old daughter last summer.
"My 8-year-old daughter was like, 'Dad, it means a lot to be a black doctor in America. If you think about where we started… we made it pretty far,'" Ledet told People. "I was like 'You're right, I think more of us should see this.'"
When Ledet pitched the idea of a trip to the Student National Medical Association, an organization for black medical students, many were into the plan. Fifteen of the 65 members at the school joined in the outing this past weekend, according to CNN.
The decision was made to take a series of pictures in front of the slave quarters on the former plantation, while dressed in their white jackets, which signify they are doctors in training.
"We are truly our ancestors' wildest dreams," one of the students who took part in the photo, 24-year-old Sydney Labat, wrote on Instagram. "This was such a powerful experience, and it honestly brought me to tears."
"For black people pursing a career in medicine, keep going. For our entire community, keep striving. Resilience is in our DNA," she added.
While at the plantation, Ledet said he couldn't help think about what their ancestors would be thinking if they could see them now.
—Russell Joseph Ledet, Ph.D. (@theguywithyes) December 14, 2019
"I kinda imagined this ancestral conversation where our ancestors looked down on us from heaven and said, 'Look at our babies, they doing so well. I hope they're happy, I'm so glad they came to see us.' That kinda stuck with me… We literally are what no one thought we could ever be," he told People.
The group hopes to disseminate the photo to 100,000 schools across the country, to inspire a new generation of black youth to get interested in medicine.
"To see people that look like me on this photo would have been so substantial for me as a younger student, and that is the whole purpose," Labat told CNN.
A few school board have already expressed support of the plan, according to NBC News.
And they've garnered the praise of the dean of Tulane's medical school.
"These are powerful images. Our students are our greatest strength and we applaud their sense of purpose, community and service," Dr. Lee Hamm said in a statement to NBC News.