Google's Friday doodle is in celebration of the 197th birthday of activist, journalist and lawyer Mary Ann Shadd, who moved to Windsor and became North America's first Black, female newspaper publisher.
Born in 1823, Shadd and her family worked to free slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. In 1851, the family moved to Ontario and prepared to welcome Black refugees. On the grounds of what is now Windsor City Hall Square, Shadd opened a school for Black and white students. She wrote and lectured on the importance of freedom while living in Canada and published Canada's first antislavery newspaper, The Provincial Freeman.
CBC News spoke with president of the Windsor-Essex Black Historical Society Irene Moore Davis, who is one of Shadd's descendents.
Davis said there are many descendents of the Shadd family in southwestern Ontario, but for her Mary Ann Shadd is her great-great-great-great aunt.
"I was amazed this morning, I went on to Google ... and there she was," Davis said. "It's great that she was recognized by Google today."
While Davis said she suspects the Black Lives Matter movement has created a sense of urgency among organizations to be more inclusive and pay attention to Black lives, Shadd "deserves it."
The non-segregated school, which was unheard of at the time, and her newspaper company were Shadd's two greatest local accomplishments, Davis said.
"She encouraged a lot of people to make their way here, not just people who were refugees of slavery but free people of colour who were looking for a fair and equitable place and a place where they could feel safe. So she really sold a lot of people on the stories of Windsor Essex County the region and encouraged them to make a new life," she said.
Davis said Shadd only lived in Windsor for two years but "did a lot of amazing things."
She said people across Ontario are already planning big events for Shadd's 200th birthday, including essay contests, history conferences, photo and art exhibits. In Windsor-Essex she said they will ensure there are publications and that school kids learn about her.
Local Teajai Travis was also excited to see Shadd represented by Google because she is a reminder that Black people can go out and "do anything, be anything."
Travis added that Shadd was living during a time where she wasn't supposed to be or do any of things that she did, but she still accomplished them.
"We expect to see people like herself being represented on a platform such as that," he said. "I think for a lot of us that are local to the Windsor-Essex and Chatham region we claim ancestor Mary Ann Shadd as family so when wake up and see her picture on the Google search, it's pretty exciting."
The doodle was illustrated by Alberta guest artist Michelle Theodore, according to Google.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.