On Saturday, Google’s search page featured an homage to Juneteenth with artwork created by Detroit-based artist Rachelle Baker that was centered on Black joy and artistic contributions.
The Doodle art featured an homage to Black artistic contributions by alluding to decorative ironwork, which includes styles that can be found throughout southern architecture and was often forged by enslaved African Americans and unrecognized freedmen.
The artwork includes images of parades, music, food and community from past and present. Baker said she was inspired by family photo albums, illuminated letters and intaglio prints, a printing process that typically uses an etched or engraved plate.
“I looked at tons of photos and art illustrating some of the first ever Juneteenth celebration, as well as celebrations, parades, and festivities from recent years,” Baker said in a note. “I also read about specific symbols, foods, colors and activities that were and continue to be important in celebrating and commemorating this holiday.”
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas in 1865.
Although the proclamation went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863, some people who owned slaves didn’t tell them they were free. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger brought the news to Galveston, Texas.
The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act moved through Congress this week, with the House and Senate both passing it just days before the June 19th date marking the historic event.
President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday that adds Juneteenth, which commemorates the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, as the 11th federal holiday.
It’s the first federal holiday created since Martin Luther King Jr. Day became law in 1983. Federal workers observed Juneteenth on Friday this year because June 19 falls on a Saturday.