Parker Looks Up
When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. A nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of the mesmerized Parker and it became an internet sensation, with Parker meeting the First Lady, making an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and sharing her experience about the importance of representation.
An everyday moment became an extraordinary one that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Parker and her mother Jessica have partnered with illustrator Brittany Jackson to create a picture book about the experience. Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops...and looks up! Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting.