Google commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. with Selma doodle

Technically Incorrect: To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Google uses the work of a first-time doodle artist to depict the Selma march. Apple, too, changes its home page in homage.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Google celebrates a walk across a bridge to a better day. Google screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

A commemoration doesn't necessarily celebrate an eradication.

As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brilliantly explains in Time magazine, racism isn't dead. But progress has been made. Which is why today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is "a time of hopeful celebration."

Google has traditionally offered a measured doodle as its contribution to the day. Today, it presents an image of King taking part in the Selma march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Alabama.

The subject of Selma has been elevated by the release of a movie of the same name, which some believe deserved more Oscars nominations than it received.

For its doodle, however, Google turned to an artist who had never been involved with the company before. Ekua Holmes, from Roxbury, Mass., is a painter and collage artist.

She told the Boston Globe that she was first approached about the project by Google's Ryan Germick. "He said he found me somewhere on the Internet. Somewhere on the Internet? That's like somewhere in the Himalayas," she said.

Now her work will reach many more people than it has before.

Google wasn't the only company to use its home page to commemorate King. Apple changed the whole page to feature an image of him giving a speech.

Accompanying this were the words: "Today we reflect on the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the work that continues in service of the broader concerns of humanity."

Apple CEO Tim Cook, a man of the south, took to his Twitter account to muse: "#MLK:There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular but he must take it because..it is right."

How hard it is for so many to live according to that idea and ideal.

Apple's home page also commemorates Dr. King. Apple Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET