Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Dublin-based guest artist Charlot Kristensen, celebrates Jamaican-born British doctor, racial equality campaigner, and founder of the U.K.s first civil rights movement Dr. Harold Moody. On this day in 1904, Dr. Moody arrived in the U.K. from Jamaica to pursue his medical studies at King’s College London. Alongside his medical work, he dedicated his life to campaigning for racial equality and advocating against discrimination.
Harold Arundel Moody was born on October 8, 1882, in the Jamaican capital of Kingston. He received early exposure to the medical field while in secondary school through his work for his father’s pharmaceutical business. Determined to become a doctor, he left Jamaica in 1904 to study medicine in London.
Dr. Moody soon came face-to-face with rampant racism in Edwardian London. Even though he qualified to practice medicine, finished top of his class, and won numerous academic prizes, he was repeatedly refused work due to the color bar system that denied people opportunities based on race. Instead, he opened his own private medical practice in Peckham, South East London—the neighborhood that inspired the design of the buildings situated below Dr. Moody in today’s Doodle. The children depicted represent the countless impoverished youth Dr. Moody would treat free of charge, in a time before the U.K. had a National Health Service. In doing so, Dr. Moody earned a reputation as a compassionate humanitarian and philanthropist who would always help those in need.
Dr. Moody’s determination to improve the lives of those around him wasn’t limited to his medical practice—he simultaneously focused his attention on combating racial injustice as well. He founded the League of Coloured Peoples in 1931 with the mission to fight for racial equality both in the U.K. and around the world. The group pushed for change, at a government level, to combat discrimination in its many forms.
Thank you, Dr. Moody, for paving the way towards a more equal future.
Guest Artist Q&A with Charlot Kristensen
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by Dublin-based guest artist Charlot Kristensen. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: I find it very important to see a spotlight on Black people in the U.K., especially Dr. Harold Moody, who did a lot for his community and was an important leader for racial justice.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: At first, I couldnt believe it as Ive always wanted to work on a Google Doodle. I was also really excited to depict someone like Dr. Moody and happy that Google believed I could do it.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: When I have to depict historical figures, I always like to get a good sense of what their personalities were like. Stephen Bournes Youtube video, where he talks about Dr. Harold Moody, was especially inspiring as he is so passionate about documenting Peckhams history and its forgotten people. The way he described Dr. Moody made it easier for me to connect with him.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope that the way Ive portrayed Dr. Moody will inspire people to learn more about him and other important Black people in the U.K.—especially in Peckham, which often carries a negative stigma.
Early concepts of the Doodle
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