If you’ve been looking for a story about Black entrepreneurial joy, then look no further. A young Black man from Indianapolis has recently launched a board game celebrating Black culture, and we couldn’t be more excited! “Knowledge of Self” is a trivia game developed by Jamaal Nelson, a military vet who began working on the product while deployed in Germany, only after reading “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander.
“That was the first time I read a book on my own, and I began to think differently about myself, the world, and my own people,” Nelson told local Indianapolis news station, WISH-TV.
The trivia game covers topics from all corners of the culture, and from a multigenerational viewpoint.
“You might pick up a card about Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby,” laughed Nelson.
“The point of the board game is you laugh and learn as you venture through black history and culture,” Nelson continued. “From Black sayings and doings. Black music, Black activists and Black revolutionaries and inventors.”
As a self-identified Pan-African, Brother Jamaal Nelson is on a mission to get Black people to become more self-reliant as a community,and not rely so heavily on outside solutions.
“Begin to think differently on how to better our conditions, circumstances and our predicaments instead of depending on other programs and factors to do for us, what we can do for ourselves,” he said.
As for the game rules, up to five people can play at a time with the end goal being to remain the last one standing. “If you don’t know you gotta go” is written into the laws of this game, as unknowing players get eliminated.
Nelson says he put in 67 hours producing each board game by hand until he eventually found a manufacturer. He’s invested nearly all of his time, and much of his money into getting “Knowledge of Self” off the ground.
“Through my four-and-a-half years in the military, I invested every penny I saved into my business,” said Nelson.
His sacrifices have finally paid off. For now, you can find “Knowledge of Self” in the Ujamaa Community Bookstore, and there are plans to bring the game online as early as next month.