Black History Month is a celebration that is observed throughout the entire month of February when important African American people and events are remembered and celebrated. During the 2020 Grammy Awards show on Jan. 26, Google aired a commercial in celebration of Black History Month called “The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers.” In this commercial, “the most searched” is written across the screen and as the advertisement progresses, the saying is filled in with different topics that people have searched for the most. In the background of the text, video clips are playing of the people or things that have been the most searched. What is special about this commercial is that all of the most searched for items that it includes involve a significant African American figure or event. For example, the ad shows the text that says “the most searched gymnast” with a video clip of Simone Biles, and “the most searched movement” with clips of the Civil Rights Movement playing in the background. Despite the emotional and empowering message that Google’s commercial displays about how much of an impact African American people and events have had on our world in the realms of art, sports, history and so many more, this commercial has been received in a less positive light because of the tragic history and continued obstacles that African American people face in this country alone.
I object to these less positive views because Google’s commercial was not aired for the purpose of reflecting back on the hardships that African American people have dealt with and are still currently dealing with. Instead, it’s purpose is to reflect on the amazing things that this group of people have done and the truly meaningful impact that they have had on our world. They are not the most searched on Google in their respective categories for nothing.
In a CNN opinion article, the author Richard J. Reddick sheds light on how this commercial, though giving him a sense of “pride,” also led him to realize that he could “recount examples of how many of these same heroes were pressured into silence” when advocating for equality and other issues. His realization is unfortunately true, and with him being an African American man, it is understandable that he has these views. However, he is choosing to look at this commercial in a more negative light as opposed to letting it be a celebration of African American culture during Black History Month.
It is clear that racism and racial inequality do still exist today in many forms, which is a terrible thing that I hate to have to admit about our society, but thankfully it is nowhere near as horrific as it was back in the times of slavery and into Jim Crow laws and segregation. We have come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go in terms of creating true equality among all people. Google’s commercial is a step in the right direction because it celebrates the lives and history of a group of people who have suffered long enough just because of the color of their skin. I choose to view the commercial as a positive thing with a beautiful message because we will get nowhere as a society if we keep living in the negativity of the past. Instead, we must find solutions to our problems and look towards a brighter future where we can all live in unity and appreciate each other for the wonderful things that we bring into the world. We are all human and we all have things that are worth celebrating. Google’s commercial capitalizes on this idea by recognizing the most searched African American figures and events. Google’s commercial concludes by saying, “To the history makers and those they inspire…Search on.” We should take this advice to search on and find the answers to a future that we can celebrate.