/  06.19.2021

Google’s Juneteenth inspired Doodle is the work of a Detroit-based Black artist. On Saturday (June 19), the search engine site debuted artwork by Rachelle Baker. The illustration tells the story of the federal holiday within the letters of the tech giant’s name. The letters “G” and “L” are adorned with the Texas state bluebonnets flower. While “G” seems to portray the holiday’s origins in 1965,  “L” is a modern depiction of how African-Americans are currently celebrating  Freedom Day. 

In an interview with The Grio, Baker discussed how she approached the design for Google. “For my Google Doodle, I wanted to illustrate a few of the ways that people celebrate and have historically celebrated Juneteenth,” Baker said. “I want people to think about traditions, old and new, creating their own traditions, and how they celebrate one another.”

“For me,” she continued, “Juneteenth is not only reflecting and learning about the past, appreciating the sacrifices and struggles of those before me, but also thinking about the future and how I and others around me can effect change for those that come after us. It’s also a time to celebrate ‘US’ and our accomplishments, triumphs, and everything that comes next.”

Baker’s illustrations have been featured in books such as “Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream” by Blair Imani, “Shirley Chisholm is a Verb” by Veronica Chambers and Clover Hope’s “Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop.” 

Google also shared some background information on its Doodle in a blog post. “Today’s Doodle artwork celebrates joy within the Black community, as well as the perseverance foundational to this journey toward liberation. With each letter, the Doodle transitions from historical Juneteenth parades to modern-day traditions such as education through storytelling, outdoor gatherings with family and friends, and commemorative festivals and parades,” the post reads.

Within the Google Q&A with Baker, the guest artist revealed inspirations for the commemorative Doodle. “I looked at tons of photos and art illustrating some of the first ever Juneteenth celebration, as well as celebrations, parades, and festivities from recent years. I also read about specific symbols, foods, colors, and activities that were and continue to be important in celebrating and commemorating this holiday.

Check out the Google Doodle below:

Rachelle Baker


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