Boston Artist Makes Martin Luther King Day Google Doodle

Roxbury artist Ekua Holmes's work shows Dr. King marching arm in arm with civil rights activists.

google doodle ekua holmes

Ekua Holmes / Google

A local artist is receiving some national recognition today. That’s because Ekua Holmes, a Roxbury native, is today’s featured Google Doodle artist. Holmes’s Doodle, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is a collage illustration of Dr. King marching alongside other civil rights activists in Selma, Alabama.

Holmes told the Globe that Google reached out last month about creating the Google Doodle. Doodle team leader Ryan Germick told Holmes he found her “somewhere on the Internet,” which Holmes herself likened to “somewhere in the Himalayas.”

More likely Germick utilized the powers of Google to help navigate the worldwide haystack to find Holmes. Surely once he found her website, which includes a portfolio full of beautiful and bright collages depicting African American life, the decision was a no-brainer.

For the series “There’s No Place Like Home,” Holmes writes on her site:

There’s a popular saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The way I see my neighborhood speaks to that. While some see a list of deficits, I see it as a magical realm full of natural beauty, strong relationships, creative opportunities and love overflowing.

My childhood streets and neighbors prepared me for the larger world while keeping me safe. Sheltering, nurturing, sustaining. I will always cherish my early days.

Holmes is hardly a new name in the Boston art scene. She’s on the board of the Boston Art Commission, has been on the executive board of Discover Roxbury, and was the recipient of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Arts. The MassArt alum is also in charge of sparc! The Artmobile, a traveling art and design program that hosts creative events around the city.