Sixty years ago, four young students in Greensboro, North Carolina, staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter — and started a movement, spurring sit-ins throughout the country to protest segregation.
Now, the famed “Greensboro Four” — David Richmond, Ezell Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil — will be honored in a Google Doodle, debuting at 11 p.m. EST on Jan. 31 and staying up for 24 hours in the U.S., until Feb. 1, the sixtieth anniversary of the historic sit-in and the first day of Black History Month. (According to Google, the Greensboro Sit-in is the most searched sit-in in history.)
The design in the Google Doodle is the work of Karen Collins, artist and founder of the African American Miniature Museum. The Google Doodle will feature a photograph of a diorama that depicts the sit-in made by Collins.
Collins’ work, created with her husband, Eddie Lewis, uses miniature dioramas situated in shadowboxes to document black history — “from the Middle Passage up to Barack Obama and Kendrick Lamar,” according to the museum’s website.
The vision for the African American Miniature Museum emerged during the “pain and anguish” felt by Collins upon the incarceration of her son, according to a blog post announcing the Google Doodle sent to Mashable.
“For me, the museum was a way to turn the negativity into something positive and share the stories of our ancestors’ strength and perseverance through hardship,” Collins said in the blog post. “I want young people to learn about those that came before them who sacrificed to help make the lives they live today possible.”
Collins hopes the Google Doodle can pay homage not only to the Greensboro sit-in itself, but also to the changes it sparked.
“I hope that when people see this Doodle, at the start of Black History Month, they are inspired to learn more about the sit-in, the movement, and all the stories of Black resilience that helped shape the world we live in today,” Collins said. “For folks in the Black community, I hope they feel gratitude and pride and that they remember that we have the strength to build a better future for ourselves and generations to come.”