“Christmas is always something that doesn’t have much diversity in terms of games, it’s a time where diversity lacks”
The release of Christmas adverts has become a tradition in the build up to the big day – however, these adverts still fail to represent diversity, despite a few exceptions in the last few years.
Alongside this, there is a huge lack of diversity in children’s board games, as well as the children’s publishing industry – making it difficult for Black children to feel represented during the holidays where families usually play games and give presents.
Kelly Nicholls, who is Black British Caribbean, says that although her own mum made a big effort to ensure she was surrounded by things she was reflected in – be it Black dolls from the US or books with characters that she could connect with – diversity is hard to find.
The 34-year-old from Croydon took it upon herself to create items that she wishes she had while growing up, and launched her own monthly subscription called ‘Woke Babies’ – which includes a selection of Black children’s books, as well as a board game.
The game, called Pocket Money Spend or Save, can now be bought as a separate item – and Kelly has even created an advert for it.
Its aim is to help kids learn about financial literacy, by “earning money through doing chores”.
With Christmas just around the corner, Kelly feels the build up towards the holiday is quite ‘white-centric’, and not catered to representing how black families spend the day.
Kelly said: “Christmas is always something that doesn’t have much diversity in terms of games, it’s a time where diversity lacks.
“The game is for black family bonding and is about playing with your family, having fun together – but centred on Black families.
“Around Christmas there’s a lot of white family adverts, and now they’ve started to add black families but doesn’t always feel genuine.
“It’s damaging to just see white images, so I just want to change that narrative.”
With the religious background of Christmas, the teachings of Jesus are also important to Christians, however images that have been portrayed of Him are usually of a white man.
Growing up in a Black household, she always questioned why Jesus was portrayed as white “if He was made in our image?”
Kelly added: “I created a book My Favourite Bible Stories because I saw an image of white Jesus, going into church I saw glass stained windows, all angels were white and I always thought were we not there? If we are made in God’s image why can we not be seen in the religion?
“If I’m being taught that a white man was the greatest man that ever lived, it could be damaging, it’s a false image, it’s someone’s interpretation of what Jesus looked like, because we are all made within His image.
“I made Jesus as how I envisioned Him.”
You can purchase the board game here as a Christmas gift for your loved ones.