Did you miss Google’s latest Doodle?
If you’ve gone to their homepage, you can’t. It’s a colorful depiction of Black power, Black life, Black women, a prominently drawn Black Africa sprinkled with Washington D.C. pride, and Afrocentric details. And through it all, a Black box braid – the pride of Black hair – swivels through the illustration to spell out the word “Google.”
Did we mention it was created by a Black teenager, whose drawing was selected from 100,000 submissions for the search engine’s “Doodle 4 Google” competition?
Akilah Johnson’s illustration, titled “My Afrocentric Life,” was created with just crayons, Sharpie markers, and colored pencils. But the impact of the Doodle, which invokes the “Black Lives Matter” movement, was felt nationwide.
Considering the theme of Google’s Doodle competition this year — “What Makes Me…Me” — Akilah’s drawing is a clear depiction of the Black culture that she’s proud of. In the Doodle, you can catch references to Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Nelson Mandela, and more.
“I grew up learning a lot about my history as an African American. As I grew older, I realized that the black people that came before us has made us into what we are today, so of course I had to include them in my doodle,” said Johnson.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” she said. “Then when I got up there and it hit me, I started crying so hard. It was unbelievable.”
The teenager, who attends Eastern Senior High School in D.C., will receive a $30,000 college scholarship and another $50,000 education-technology grant for her school.
From USA Today:
She’s visiting Google with mom Tikecia Johnson and teacher Zalika Perkins and is already dreaming about her future. She plans to study criminal justice or business in college in hopes of becoming a CSI detective — and she wants to start an arts and crafts studio for kids.
“The reaction she is getting from this is so positive. I think it’s going to propel her and open more doors for her,” Perkins said. “She did a great job of communicating who she is, her history and her culture. She has a gift for this.”
Her inspiration for the doodle, she says, came from the quote: “Be the type of person that not only turns heads, but turns souls.”
Akilah is the first African-American artist to win the national competition, proving that Black art also matters.