For the 60th anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-In, Karen Collins’ photographed diorama of the Greensboro Four at the Woolworth’s lunch counter will serve as the Google Doodle. Collins is a Compton-based artist and founder of the African American Miniature Museum. Her museum is full of dioramas representing black history in the US.
Collins began making miniatures and dioramas as an adult, a hobby her family couldn’t afford in her childhood. Her craft took on the greater purpose of telling important stories through the dioramas. She found solace in miniatures after her son was incarcerated and she formed the museum.
“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. “I want young people to learn about those that came before them who sacrificed to help make the lives they live today possible. Most importantly, I want them to see that we each have the power to make it through difficult times to thrive and hopefully make things better for those who come after us.”
During the civil rights movement, four black freshmen college students — Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil — staged a sit-in at Woolworth’s segregated lunch counter. The four young men were inspired by the nonviolent protest techniques of Mohandas Gandhi and the Freedom Rides in 1947, and were motivated to protest after the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955.
“Today’s Doodle diorama not only pays homage to the sit-in, but also to everything that came as a result: changes in our country to make it more possible for all Americans — no matter their race, color or creed — to live to their full potential,” Collins said.