Google, one of Silicone Valley’s very white behemoths, celebrates Black Lives Matter today, with this Black Power doodle by 15 year old, Strong Black Woman™ Akilah Johnson. (You can’t make these names up.)
SAN FRANCISCO — Akilah Johnson, a 10th grader from Washington, D.C., is Google’s top student doodler.
Johnson’s doodle, which honors her African-American heritage, is featured prominently on the Internet giant’s home page on Monday. It was selected from 100,000 submissions to the “Doodle 4 Google” competition for young artists.
This year, Google asked students from kindergarten to 12th grade to doodle “What makes me…me.”
Drawn as a box braid, Johnson’s doodle, entitled “My Afrocentric Life,” was brought to life with color pencils, black crayons and Sharpie markers. It celebrates African-American culture, weaving from left to right childhood experiences and shades of her personality with such current-day themes as the Black Lives Matter movement.
“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, who is the first African American to win the national competition.
Among those featured in the doodle are Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Angela Davis, Colin Powell and Bill Cosby…
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…
Johnson began drawing in second grade. She attended Roots Public Charter School and Roots Activity Learning Center in Washington, D.C., both of which she says forge a strong connection to students’ African heritage. Every month students celebrated an important African-American figure with a birthday cake, Johnson says. Those figures appear in her doodle.
Her inspiration for the doodle, she says, came from the quote: “Be the type of person that not only turns heads, but turns souls.”
Imagine if it was okay for schools to “forge a strong connection to students’ [fill in the blank] heritage”.
The school webpage for Zalika Perkins reads:
Zalika Perkins of Lotus of Wadi Arts is a Washington, DC-based visual artist who has taught in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for five years. She received her BFA from Howard University and her MA in Art Education from Georgia State University where she explored embracing identity and narrative in the art-making process, a theme that figures prominently in her artwork and in her classes.
Follow Zalika and Eastern High School on Twitter: @EasternBlackOut and @EasternHS.
Again: Imagine if it was okay for all students to “embrace identity” in a positive way.
BTW, the @EasternBlackOut Twitter page she runs for the students is filled with anti-white rhetoric and other BLM goodies, just what you’d expect from an ‘Afrocentric’ schooling model.
Stay classy, Google!