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The new partnership brings black history to life through the Google Assistant




Seattle Medium by Airik Myers

Hey, Google, what happened on this day of black history? It is a term that may become a daily ritual for many people across the country. More than 500 million people with a comprehensive flip calendar highlighting the achievements of 366 prominent African Americans and African Americans, thanks to a new partnership between Google and Dr. Carl Mack, publisher of the Black Heritage Day Calendar. You can use Google to learn about the daily history of black people. assistant.

Shortly before June 16th, the Google Assistant team announced a new feature that would allow users to receive information about black history by date. “Hey Google, what happened in black history on this day?” He said, with a unique verbal response based on the information contained in Dr. Mack’s calendar. A brief description will be provided. on that day.

There are two ways to take advantage of this feature. The first option is to ask what happens today, and the second option is to ask what happens on a particular day in black history. For example, when asked what happened on October 8th in black history, Pau was born into slavery on that day in 1837, but later gained freedom and moved to Ohio, proving his talent as an actor. Ask for an answer about Watan Beatty.

This feature is available on over a billion Google Assistant-enabled devices, including smart speakers, phones, LG and Samsung TVs, Chromecasts, watches, and many popular soundbars.

According to Mack, the calendar inspiration came from a conversation with a white colleague who was asking Mack about a historic black-figure pot he had never heard of in the 1980s.

Someday [my co-worker] Coming to work, he was talking to me about Henry Blipper, the first black man to graduate from the West Point Military Academy.When [hes] Looking at me as I knew who this guy was, I didn’t know who was who [he] I remembered Mack, who was talking. I was literally embarrassed and embarrassed that this white man knew better about my culture than I did.

Through interaction, Mack learned more about black history and eventually became a black historian himself. The discoveries he made stimulated Mack’s self-esteem and his passion for teaching, learning and serving others. After years of research, Mack decided to share his knowledge more widely, so he created the original version of the Black Heritage Calendar in 1992.

Fast forwarding towards today, people are still fascinated by the information contained in the calendar. The calendar is currently in its 4th edition. Some of the information, such as Martin Luther Kings’ birthday, is generally known, but others, like Elijah McCoy, the inventor of African-American, have a common connection to our daily lives. There is a lesser-known entry for. Real McCoy was created to distinguish his invention from cheap counterfeit products.

I shared [the Today In Black History feature] With nearly 100 people, Mack says their level of excitement is insane. It’s off the chart, but they come back to me and they all know what my mom said, if you didn’t tell me this, how it existed ??

Macks’ original intention was to share his information with the world, but he didn’t expect to literally share it on a platform that reaches hundreds of millions of people every day.

Thirty years later, did you think the research I did on black history is now done by the Google Assistant and is accessible to 500 million people around the world? Mack says in awe of the results. That’s what God says big, it means that God is big.

The connection with Google came from Justin Steele, one of Mac’s mentees working at Google. Mack sent a copy of his calendar to Steele for feedback. Unknown to Mack at the time, Google was looking for content that could be featured daily, in line with its efforts for diversity and inclusiveness.

According to Beth Tsai, policy director at Google Search and Assistant, the Macks calendar was exactly what they were trying to do.

Tsai felt it was very important to raise awareness of the black community and the key people who are often not noticed in the black community.

The great thing about Dr. Mack’s calendar is that, as most people don’t realize, it takes a look at some of the stories and tells us about important moments in black culture and black history, Tsai added. It was. It tells you about non-celebrity contributors. [It] It helps people understand the big picture. And for us, it was a fascinating moment here. This is an opportunity for the average Google user, who knows nothing about these things, to actually dive in, learn more, and learn more.

For Mack, formerly Chairman of the Seattle King County NAACP and former Secretary-General of the NAACP, the opportunity for people to learn and understand black history is a major step towards self-awareness. .. Pride in African Americans, and the opportunity for others to see and understand African Americans in ways not easily found in traditional American history books.

That is, you look at Google. Google is arguably one of the best search engines on the planet. The fact that they have content from the calendar and every day you have to say, hey, Google, what happened on this day of black history? And so, with your voice alone, you could touch on 366 days of African-American history with your voice alone, and Mack makes it easy for people to access information through the Google Assistant. I will tell you about it. You only learn beautiful things about our history and know why it is important to me. [is] Because I know what my knowledge has done for me.

Being related to the Today in Black History initiative, this is Google’s first partnership specifically designed to educate and raise awareness about fairness and inclusion in the Google Assistant.

According to Tsai, the Google Assistant has always been comprehensive and accessible to everyone.

Tsai says that we wanted a system that recognizes you, no matter who you are, your race, your gender, your ethnicity, or your religion.

We hope our black users will listen to our calendar. And I hope they feel that the Google Assistant belongs to them, she continued. I hope they see themselves in the Google system. [I hope it feels] Let the Google Assistant recognize them and consider them allies. It’s basically the most important thing for us.




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