Kenyatta Forbes didn’t plan to start a business, but while teaching middle school in Chicago she realized that the traditional Black History curriculum was lacking in some important aspects. She felt that it focused too much on only a few historical figures and didn’t cover the cultural and historical impact of Black history adequately. To enhance her lessons and bring in more insights, she created a unique deck of index cards. This deck mixed historical figures with people that students might recognize, such as modern-day rappers and reality TV stars. The game, called “Trading Races,” had each player dealt five cards, and the goal was to convince everyone else that the person on their card was the “blackest.”
After testing the game with friends, who encouraged her to create a business, Forbes launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $5,500 to start her new venture. She sold the game at Black culture festivals for a few years, but the pandemic halted all in-person events. Forbes wondered if this was the end for her business as she worked on it out of her Oakland, Calif., home. However, Kenyatta found hope when she heard about Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program which provided live 1:1 reviews to discuss social media marketing and strategy. These one-on-one sessions were incredibly helpful as they allowed her to focus on actionable goals and get into the details of promoting Trading Races effectively.
The expert advice helped Forbes refine her promotional ideas into a marketing calendar with a coherent social media strategy tailored to her target audience. With a better understanding of what she needed to do, creating content and scheduling it out effectively, Trading Races began to see a surge in followers and sales. Today, the business has several thousand followers on social media and has formed partnerships with influencers making it even more popular among young generations