Celebrating Black History: Past, Present and Afrofuturism – Mini Jankari

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Black culture is all around us — from the music we love and the trends we follow to the tech we use. And as the future unfolds, we’re seeing firsthand how the bold ideas and transformative creations of Black founders, creatives and leaders across society are accelerating the benefits of AI and improving product representation.

That’s why Google’s Black Googler Network (BGN) — which I’m honored to help lead — chose the theme “Afrofuturism” for our 2024 Black History Month theme. Afrofuturism, a movement merging science fiction, history and African diaspora culture, has transcended the pages of books and the screens of cinemas. In my role as one of the global leads for BGN, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Googlers from all backgrounds who embody the spirit of Afrofuturism and who are building the products and solutions to help make that future one we can all be proud of.

As Google celebrates Black History Month in Canada, the US and Germany and continues to support the Black community all year round, here are three highlights that I’m particularly excited about:

Celebrating Black culture through our products

On February 1, the Google homepage honors the late James Baldwin, American writer and civil rights activist, through an inspiring Google Doodle created by guest artist Jon Key. Google Play is also highlighting inspiring and innovative Black creators in the Black History Month hub which will feature a curated selection of apps, games and books. Google TV will feature a “Black Genius” collection of movies and shows in a variety of themes: Afrofuturism, real-life stories of Black innovation & strength, the next generation of Black genius, and free Live TV focused on Black-centric content. You’ll also find content in Google TV’s Featured Carousel with a “Black Genius” tag all month.

Google Arts & Culture also added new stories and built a new chapter celebrating the performing arts to its Black History and Culture hub. The hub now spotlights new partnerships with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Massachusetts Hip Hop Archive, and features new collaborations with existing partners from many other museums and archives. YouTube invites users to explore its Spotlight Channel, where they can discover content from creators across Gaming, Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle and more.

And extra special for me this year, BGN members Asya Brown, Na’kia Channey and Dieu Buhendwa partnered with Google Meet to create its latest virtual background, celebrating Black culture and art. This background showcases items of important historical and cultural significance, reminding us of the rich lineage of Black culture.

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