Google Assistant debuts new Black history feature for Juneteenth
In honor of Juneteenth, Google Assistant has an important new feature.
“Hey Google, what happened today in Black history?
On Saturday morning, Google unveiled the addition of a Black history function, available to users of any Assistant-enabled smart speaker, smart display, or phone. Just ask “Hey Google, what happened today in Black history?” and the voice assistant will recite daily history content curated by Google with the help of civil rights activist and scholar Dr. Carl Mack.
The facts are intended to highlight important Black cultural events and leaders as the United States continues its racial reckoning. The feature is one of numerous initiatives being taken not just by Google, but also countless other companies as many of them honor Juneteenth for the first time. On Wednesday, President Biden officially made the day, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people, a federal holiday, recognized in all 50 states.
At Google, the company also released a new Doodle from Detroit-based artist Rachelle Baker, honoring Black joy and artistic contributions.
In a Google press release sent to Mashable, Baker described her process creating the Doodle, saying, “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. I also read about specific symbols, foods, colors, and activities that were and continue to be important in celebrating and commemorating this holiday.”
And finally, on Google Maps, local guide April Hamm has put together a Freedom Tour of New Orleans, featuring local historical landmarks and Black-owned businesses. You can see that here.