DC Teen Draws Winning Afrocentric Google Doodle

"My Afrocentric Life," by Akilah Johnson | Photo courtesy of Google 2016

“My Afrocentric Life,” by Akilah Johnson | Photo courtesy of Google 2016

This is today’s Google Doodle – a colorful, powerful illustration called “My Afrocentric Life,” drawn by teen Akilah Johnson, a sophomore at DC’s Eastern (Public) Senior High School.

She won a national contest, with her illustration chosen out of 100,00 entries from students around the U.S. This doodle, her answer to this year’s question “what makes me…me” took her about two weeks to finish, but in many ways, she’s been developing it all her life.

She told the Washington Post, “As a child, I attended Roots [Public Charter School] and Roots [Activity Learning Center], so I was raised in the ‘Afrocentric lifestyle.’ (Roots is a school known in the DC-area for its Afrocentric teaching and focus on raising strong black children.)

Akilah poses with her winning Google Doodle | Photo credit: Google

Akilah poses with her winning Google Doodle | Photo credit: Google

“One of my teachers from Roots, Baba Camera, is really [who] made me look at art in a different way,” Akilah said. “As I grew older, I … realized that the black people [who] came before us … made us into what we are today, so of course I had to include them in some way.” (“Of all the things I chose to include,” Akilah writes on Google’s site, “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!”)

Kim also won $30,000 (and her school gets at $50,000 grant). In addition to being proud of her work and excited to be on the Google homepage,  she hopes that people will be inspired by her work.

Proud. Powerful. Unapologetic. Beautiful. Bold blackness. Look at us, winning.

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Author: HomegirlMag

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