Today's Google Doodle is a celebration of the Black Lives Matter movement and was awarded to a Washington D.C. tenth-grader who beat out 100,000 other student submissions to be featured atop the search giant's home page.
Akilah Johnson answered Google's call to K-12 students to draw "What makes me…me." With that prompt, Johnson drew a piece she called "My Afrocentric Life." The drawing uses box braids to spell out "Google" and features the profile of a black woman surrounded by references to Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Colin Powell and Bill Cosby, to name a few. There is a protest sign displaying "Black Lives Matter." There is also a black fist, representative of Black Power, a favored gesture of the Black Panthers.
Along with the bragging rights of becoming Google's top pick, Johnson was also awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and her high school, Eastern Senior High School, receives a $50,000 Google for Education grant, according to The Washington Post. That money is to be used to improve a computer lab or technology program.
“I hope they feel inspired and try to understand the picture as I want them to understand it," Johnson said about people viewing her doodle.
The young girl described her favorite parts of her picture:
Of all the things I chose to include, the six most special to me are the Symbol of Life [the ankh], the African continent, where everything began for me and my ancestors, the Eye of Horus, the word "power" drawn in black, the woman’s fist based on one of my favorite artist’s works, and the D.C. flag — because I’m a Washingtonian at heart and I love my city with everything in me!
Johnson describes herself to the Post as being raised in an "Afrocentric lifestyle" under the "culturally relevant curriculum" of Roots Public Charter School which grooms students in "the specific need of children of African heritage."