Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Baptist minister, Nobel Laureate, and civil rights activist who dedicated his life working tirelessly for peace, social justice, and opportunity for all Americans – irrespective of color or creed.
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor Dr. King. It was federally observed for the first time on January 20, 1986, and over 30 years later, the day is traditionally celebrated as a day of service, with people volunteering time and talent to help others, thus paying homage to Dr. King’s legacy.
Today’s Doodle by guest artist Cannaday Chapman was also developed in collaboration with the Black Googlers Network (BGN), one of the largest employee resource groups at Google. The image depicts a young girl perched on her father’s shoulders, enthralled by the power and eloquence of Dr. King’s words. The scene is evocative of Dr. King’s dream for children everywhere to one day live in a better world.
Cannaday shares his thoughts on today’s Doodle below:
What does MLK and MLK day mean to you personally?
Martin Luther King Jr.’s message is especially relevant today and will be relevant for the remainder of civilization. Dr. King is most remembered for fighting for the rights of African Americans, but he fought for the rights of all Americans. He believed in fairness and equity for everyone. As a black man, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for him and the brave people of the civil rights movement.
What were your first thoughts when you were approached for this project?
I felt very honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to one of America’s bravest leaders. I was pretty busy when I was approached for this assignment, but it’s Google and Martin Luther King Jr. That’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
I was inspired by people. It may appear that this movement or any civil rights movement was brought about by one person, but it’s the people that have the power to bring change. I wanted to make an image about those people.
What message would you like for people to get after seeing the Doodle?
I would like people to reflect on this moment in history. I would like people to remember that current events and our actions today will shape the future generations of tomorrow.
What kind of example do we want to set for our children and our children’s children?
Today, Dr. King’s dream continues to inspire people of all ages, races, and nationalities to stand united against injustice and never abandon hope for a brighter tomorrow.Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!