Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Honored With Google Doodle

    January 16, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

As you may know, today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Google is celebrating with a doodle.

The doodle was created by artist Faith Ringgold. Here’s the bio she uses on her site:

Faith Ringgold, began her artistic career more than 35 years ago as a painter. Today, she is best known for her painted story quilts — art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling. She has exhibited in major museums in the USA, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Her first book,Tar Beach was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, among numerous other honors. She has written and illustrated eleven children’s books. She has received more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards and seventeen honorary doctorates, one of which is from her alma mater The City College of New York.

Faith Ringgold is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara Wallace; and three granddaughters, Faith, Theodora and Martha. She is a professor of art at the University of California in San Diego, California.

Here’s what Google’s doodle for the day looked like last year:

MLK doodle

What do you think of the new doodle? Which do you like better?

  • Martin

    Nice doodle. You can see it with some short infos here:


  • Eric Stiff

    The word “four” looks more like “your”.

  • Deborah Rothaug

    I am very pleased that Faith Ringgold’s illustration is used to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, as the “Google doodle for the day”.
    However, the size of the illustration used made it impossible to view the detail. I did a Google search in illustrations to be able to view the enlarged size and read the words quoting Dr. King that encircle the picture. Surely, Google could INCREASE the size so that everyone who uses the site today can see and be reminded of Dr. King’s most historic words. Thank you for this forum for my comments.

  • mark shelby

    It is offensive! It appears to be a noose around mlk’s neck. A lynching?

    • JR

      I absolutely agree. Not only that, but this highly-awarded, “preeminent” blah blah blah artist, didn’t give this any thought. It’s hideous. It’s garbage. And, it’s remarkably disrespectful. Ringgold and Google should be ashamed.

      And why is Faith Ringgold the recipient of so many awards and honors? There are a plethora of Black American women artists who one never hears about.

      How about honoring — I can’t think of her full name – last name was Cherry? – one of the early Head Start women who rose from parent to – what was it – a professorship at NYU? Now that’s saying something.

      • JR

        My first impression was that a faux patriotic, supportive snake imprisoned King and the ideas and ideals of the Civil Rights movement. (And, that it was done by a 4 year old).

        • JR

          I’ve got it – Florence J. Cherry, Cornell University.

      • MAX GRANDE

        I agree. Completely. When I first glimpsed the new MLK doodle, I thought, ah, what a charming child’s drawing. I wonder what creative little tyke produced it. Further investigation revealed that it was the work of an adult, and one with the appellation, “professional artist”. someone whose creativity can be measured in inches, not miles. ye gawds, how low we have sunk, that such a mess could be termed “art”.

        Is there any doubt that the doodle of last year is superior? None in my mind. None at all.

      • Dede P. Miller

        I think it is offensive to say the least! The message was lost because of the way the doodle was depicted! It looks like Dr. King was being lynched over and over again! The fact that she is an African American author with many credits to her name is not helping.I t was a waste of time because it didn’t help anybody anywhere! So sad…

    • JA

      It is definitely offensive. An individual who lacks awareness on this particularly sensitive issue would fail to see the symbology. Take it down!

    • nonnie

      I agree its seems like its a big joke and that this person is just sitting back laughing at this ugly little kid drawing

  • Lael Wojno

    I’m an elementary school teacher in the Bay Area of CA and would love to have a poster of this image to share with my class in talking about MLK and my famous artist unit. I think it is an image to which young children can make a connection. Where is it available?

    • Jessica

      Lael, My first thought was to show it to school children as well – except to show them that even nationally-viewed art work can appear to have issues, as well. The four looks like “your” or “sour” and the double t’s in “little” aren’t even crossed (or they don’t appear crossed). If my kids saw this, I’d ask them how they’d improve it. Forgive me, as I’m sure Ms. Ringgold’s archives are wonderful. It would have made more sense if Google had put some thoughtful preparation into it, so no “grammatical issues” appeared on this dedication to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Makes one think back to the monument that was recently erected in Washington, D.C., in which even Maya Angelou herself had issue.)

  • Dustin

    looks a bunch of google noose’s tied around a bunch of mlk necks to me.

  • uncommongoddess

    Before I began my daily google search, I couldn’t go on without commenting on this years MLKJ Day logo. Why does his head have to be inside of the rope-looking letters? I’m surprised she didn’t give him a black eye or something. I’m starting a chain text. So long, google.com. This is outrageous. That is all.

  • american_dreamer

    I don’t think it’s offensive, but it doesn’t seem that great.
    Is there a significance to any of it?
    Meaningful symbolism?
    It really does look like a kid drew it.
    Where’s the rest of the quote?
    “But by the content of their character.”
    That’s a pretty important part.
    It’s tough to appreciate things when it seems like race is a motivating factor. It makes one wonder whether any much-better doodles were rejected b/c the artist wasn’t a black woman from Harlem.

    • JR

      There are other Black women artists, from Harlem, and elsewhere. Your comment seems a bit, well…unthoughtful. Of course the artist for the doodle should be of color.

      The U.S. remains a WASP country. Even I, of non-Anglo European descent, am considered “ethnic.” It’s a sad fact.

      • Roxy Rose

        I see you say you are non-anglo. I have been trying to figure out where you are from. I marked out British, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish (as they are Anglo?). Are you Turkish? This I would love to know. Certainly, something to be taught in school…

      • american_dreamer

        I don’t have any objection to the artist being black (btw, why do you say “of color” when you really mean black?).
        What I’m saying is this doodle is not very good. Yes, I know that’s just my opinion, but I think most honest observers would admit they share that sentiment (at least somewhat).
        I must ask, then, why was this doodle chosen? Don’t you wonder at all if there were any better doodles submitted? Why weren’t they chosen?
        Any honest person would also admit this doodle would never be taken seriously if it were drawn by a white person, especially a “WASP” as you very thoughtfully put it.
        So, again, why was this doodle chosen? Of course I don’t know for sure, but the culture of political-correctness and reverse discrimination in which we live causes me to question the motives of the selection committee.

  • Carolyn S

    When it says “my four little children” it looks like the “f” in four is a “s”, making the four turn into sour

    • nonnie

      I dont like it at all,its looks like the word four or the word your is sour and it looks and sounds like the person is racist when you take the time to point out all the racial things in the so called picture…

    • nonnie

      I SEE exactly what you see and if this many people are seeing the same thing then theres a big problem with this picture.

      • nonnie

        it sucks! it shouldnt have been made i hope this type of behavior is not what google is representing…if so you guys should be fired.

        • nonnie

          You didnt even take the time to cross the t’s in little thats how much of a joke you think this day is its a very stupid thing to put on google and google should be very ashamed of this racist drawing.Unless they are racist too.:(