The first Google Doodle of Black History Month features a diorama of the Greensboro Four, a group that was pivotal during the civil rights movement.
It's February, and you know what that means. It's officially Black History Month. Sure, it's the shortest month of them all - hmm, could that have been done on purpose? Who knows - but we're definitely going to make the best out of it. Google, it appears, has already started. For their first Google Doodle of February 2020, the company decided to honor an iconic sit-in organized by Black students during the civil rights movement in the United States. The Doodle features the Greensboro Four, four African American college students who quietly sat at a "Whites-only" counter area at a restaurant when segregation was still legally practiced, CNN reports.
Sixty years ago on February 1, the four Black college students walked into a Woolworth's for lunch in Greensboro, North Carolina. At the time, they were not permitted to sit at the counter, only White folks were. So they sat at the restaurant's countertop and patiently waited for someone to take their order. Despite receiving no service and being asked to leave numerous times, they kept waiting. The restaurant eventually shut shop for the night, but they returned the next day and began waiting all over again. This was the start of a powerful movement that inspired hundreds to join.
Within three days of their moving act of protest, more than 300 other Black students joined the Greensboro Four, so named because of the area they protested in. The sit-in movement grew rapidly. Soon, protestors were holding sit-ins across the country. In restaurants and other segregated public spaces in the south, Black people mobilized to stage sit-ins and fight Jim Crow policies that made "separate but equal" segregation practices legal. The sit-in protests quickly became a turning point in the history of the civil rights movement. Therefore, the first Google Doodle of the month is a powerful reminder of the strength of student voices and of how far we have come because of those who sacrificed their lives to do what was right.
The artist behind the Doodle is Compton-based Karen Collins, who founded the African American Miniature Museum. The Doodle is actually a photograph of a diorama on display at the museum. Saying a few words about the Doodle, the artist stated, "Organized by four Black college freshmen, the protest against segregation served as a catalyst for similar demonstrations throughout the nation. Today's Doodle diorama not only pays homage to the sit-in, but also to everything that came as a result: changes in our country to make it more possible for ALL Americans—no matter their race, color, or creed—to live to their full potential."
Collins has been creating dioramas for the past 24 years through her museum. What first began as a mobile project continues to operate out of her home, where more than 50 dioramas depicting important moments in Black history can be seen. "For me, the museum was a way to turn the negativity into something positive and share the stories of our ancestors' strength and perseverance through hardship," she explained. "I want young people to learn about those that came before them who sacrificed to help make the lives they live today possible. Most importantly, I want them to see that we each have the power to make it through difficult times to thrive and hopefully make things better for those who come after us."