From Beyonce performing at Coachella to Serena Williams returning a serve to clips of Martin Luther King reciting his “I Have a Dream” Speech, Google’s “Most Searched” video seems to have everything.
During the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Google released “The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers” video, in preparation for Black History Month. The video is based on 15 years of search data collected from 2004 through July 2019, showcasing and the most searched Black history makers and events. Google’s Creative Strategist, Shea Jackson McCann, is one of the leading minds behind the progressive ad and shares her initial inspiration and vision with theGrio.
“The inspiration for ‘Most Searched’ happened last year when our team had a hunch that “I Have a Dream” might be the most searched speech in the U.S.,” said Jackson. “Looking at Google Trends data, we determined it was. That inspired us to analyze the data for other Black icons, events, and movements that were most searched in their category. Together the data tells a powerful story about how the Black community has helped shape and influence American culture. It also shows the tremendous collective interest in our history.”
The commercial pays tribute to 24 of the most searched black figures and has been receiving buzz since it’s release. It has received more than 13,000 retweets and 23,000 likes on Twitter with more than 22 million views on Youtube, with the comment section filled with rave reviews.
I shed a few tears watching the Google commercial. Black is so powerful. It is such an honor to be black. With EVERYTHING against us, we are the pioneers. We are the greatest. This sh*t is amazing.
— Ky (@Ky_TheOtherHalf) January 27, 2020
But the ad was not without criticism. After its release, a few viewers also took to Twitter, to emphasize the lack of representation for large scale celebrities, like Michael Jackson whose death made a huge impact on Google in 2009.
No Black History without the one who devoted his entire life uplifting the Black community & advocating for them. No Black History without the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
“THEY DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT US”! pic.twitter.com/I61cP4aaBx
— MJJ India 🇮🇳 (@MJJ_India) January 27, 2020
google literally crashed when michael jackson died but yall just gonna pretend like he wasnt probably the most searched person ever. ok boomers.
— 𝐌. (@dirtyredcorvete) January 27, 2020
Nevertheless, Google filled their recent 2020 “Most Searched For” Ad with Black excellence from memorable events to memorable people, kicking off a great start to their initiatives for Black History Month.
Here is the list of Black History Makers included in the “Most Searched For” video and their Descriptions from the campaign’s landing page:
Most Searched Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass:
Powerful speeches and written works made Frederick Douglass one of America’s most well-known abolitionists. Maryland, Douglass’ home state, has searched for him more than any other U.S. state overall
Most Searched Athlete, LeBron James:
LeBron James is both the most searched athlete and basketball player in the United States, but his achievements off the court are also shaping his legacy. Cleveland, the Cavaliers’ hometown, searched more for him over time than any other U.S. city.
Most Searched Autobiography, Malcolm X:
In 1998, Time magazine called “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” one of the 10 required reading nonfiction books of the 20th century. Search interest for the autobiography in the U.S. peaked in February 2005, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death.
Most Searched Ballerina, Misty Copeland:
With 4X more U.S. search interest than the next most searched ballerina, Misty Copeland is known for breaking barriers. In September 2014, she became the first African American to star in American Ballet Theatre’s production of “Swan Lake.
Most Searched Baseball Player, Derek Jeter:
Derek Jeter spent 20 years with the New York Yankees, and in return, New York searched for him more than any other U.S. state. When he became the first Yankee to collect 3,000 hits, on July 9, 2011, U.S. search interest spiked by 400%.
Most Searched Boycott, Montgomery Bus Boycott:
Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat for a white passenger helped spark the civil rights movement and began America’s most searched boycott. For 381 days, Black Americans joined the first U.S. mass demonstration against segregation.
Most Searched Drag Queen, RuPaul:
RuPaul found international fame with his music – and then he gave the world “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” U.S. search interest for RuPaul peaked in March 2018, the same month season 10 of the show premiered.
Most Searched EGOT Winner, John Legend:
John Legend is the first Black man to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, collectively known as an EGOT. U.S. search interest in Legend spiked by 1,400% the day after he performed the Academy Award–winning song “Glory” at the 2015 Oscars, which he cowrote for the film “Selma.”
Most Searched Poet, Maya Angelou:
Maya Angelou’s most searched poem in America, “Still I Rise,” was published in 1978 as a part of her third volume of poetry, “And Still I Rise.” Since then, more and more people have found meaning in her words. Search interest in the phrase “still i rise tattoo” has increased 140% in the United States since Angelou’s death in 2014.
Most Searched Guitar Solo, Prince:
Prince’s guitar solos have more U.S. search interest than any other artist’s guitar solos in Google Trends history. Minnesota, Prince’s birthplace and the setting of his 1984 musical drama, “Purple Rain,” searched for “prince guitar solo” more over time than any other U.S. state.
Most Searched Gymnast, Simone Biles:
At just 22 years old, Simone Biles is already regarded as a living legend. U.S. search interest leaped 26,000% between January and August 2016, when, along with swimmer Katie Ledecky, Biles became the most decorated female athlete at the Summer Olympics in Rio.
Most Searched Homecoming, Howard University:
The pride that comes from attending Howard, the most searched historically Black university in the U.S., can be said in one word: Yardfest. Of all Howard University’s homecoming events, Yardfest is the most searched in the U.S. Though Yardfest is known for legendary performances from artists like Jay-Z, Drake, and Kanye West.
Most Searched Interception, Malcolm Butler:
Twenty seconds was all Malcolm Butler needed to make history. After intercepting the pass that would have won the Seattle Seahawks its second championship, Butler put the New England Patriots in position to win Super Bowl XLIX. U.S. search interest for Butler soared 27,000% on February 2, 2015.
Most Searched Jazz Musician, Louis Armstrong:
Louis Armstrong first played on riverboats in his hometown, New Orleans – the city that searched at least 5X more than any other U.S. city for the jazz legend over time. He recorded his most searched song, “What a Wonderful World,” late in his career, at 66 years old.
Most Searched March, March on Washington:
More than 250,000 people attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. During the historic protest, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his most famous – and the most searched – speech in America. U.S. search interest for the march peaked on its 50th anniversary in August 2013.
Most Searched Movement, Civil Rights Movement:
The civil rights movement was the struggle against social injustice and Black America’s fight for equality. Mississippi, home of activist Medgar Evers, searched for the civil rights movement more over time than any other U.S. state.
Most Searched NASA Mathematician, Katherine Johnson:
Katherine Johnson’s calculations helped put people into orbit around the Earth, then onto the moon. West Virginia – Johnson’s home state – has searched for her more than any other U.S. state. Shortly after the biographical film “Hidden Figures” was widely released in January 2017, U.S. search interest for Johnson peaked.
Most Searched Remix, Lil Nas X:
Lil Nas X’s meteoric rise is a sign of times to come. “Old Town Road” is not only a record-breaking song, it is also America’s most searched remix and country-rap song. U.S. search interest in him peaked on July 1, 2019.
Most Searched Sit-In, Greensboro Sit-In:
In 1960, four Black college students entered a Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina, and began a series of sit-ins that spread across the country. Of those four, the most searched in America is Joseph McNeil, who went on to become a major general in the U.S. Air Force.
Most Searched Speech, “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
The most searched speech in America was delivered to a crowd of thousands, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words inspire millions today. Mississippi, the state mentioned most in “I Have a Dream,” searched for the speech more than any other U.S. state over time.
Most Searched Star-Spangled Banner, Whitney Houston:
In 1991, at Super Bowl XXV, Whitney Houston sang a rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” that was so powerful, it was later released as a charity single. “I Will Always Love You,” Houston’s most searched song in the U.S., is also the best-selling single of all time by a woman.
Most Searched Tap Dancer, Gregory Hines:
Gregory Hines has been a singer, a film and TV actor, and a director, but his passion since the age of 5 was tap. His 1978 Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway musical “Eubie!” has been credited with helping to spark a resurgence of tap in America.
Most Searched Tennis Player, Serena Williams:
With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 women’s doubles titles, and 4 Olympic gold medals, Serena Williams has established her preeminence. She has more U.S. search interest than Wimbledon, tennis’ oldest tournament.
Most Searched WWII Airmen, Tuskegee Airmen:
The first African American U.S. military pilots flew over 1,800 missions during WWII. U.S. search interest for the airmen peaked in January 2012, when “Red Tails,” a film about them, was released.