National winning Google Doodle celebrating black culture designed by D.C teen

Akilah Johnson, who designed today's Google Doodle after becoming a finalist in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest last month, was "overwhelmed" at the announcement that her doddle, invoking Black Lives Matter, had won.

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Akilah Johnson, who designed today’s Google Doodle after becoming a finalist in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest last month, was “overwhelmed” at the announcement that her doddle, invoking Black Lives Matter, had won.

“It is really overwhelming,” Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, told the Washington Post.

“I was so excited, I started crying,” she said. “I didn’t even look at anybody — I was just looking at the framed copy [of the Doodle] they gave me.”

Akilah is the first winner of the contest from Washington, D.C., because D.C. residents had previously not been allowed to participate in the states-only contest.

The theme of the contest was “What makes me…me.” So, Akilah designed a Doodle called “My Afrocentric Life,” which drew from black heritage, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

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“One of my teachers from Roots, Baba Camera, is really what made me look at art in a different way,” Akilah said. “As I grew older, I had realized that the black people that came before us has made us into what we are today, so of course I has to include them in some way.”

“Of all the things I chose to include,” Akilah wrote 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!”

Millions of people will now see the product of Akilah’s hard work on the Doodle, and she has one message for them: “I hope they feel inspired and try to understand the picture as I want them to understand it.”

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