It’s a Black Thang is a site whose products simultaneously celebrate and exploit American black culture … excuse me African American culture.

Their games include a long line of Monopoly’s, including a few rare ones for historically black colleges and universities (HCBUs), as well as two other games.

The first is The Pleasures and Perils of 5 Colored Girls. They don’t have the full rules; I don’t know if the game is interesting, but the copy is:

The goal of the game is to collect enough puzzle pieces to form a whole woman. While searching for pieces along a yellow brick road, players must survive a variety of lifestyle ruts, social inequities, financial hurdles, health issues and the antics of Ray-Ray ‘nem.

Spoofs and parodies are plentiful.

  • Catfights occur when two players occupy the same spot.
  • Divas play by a different set of rules.
  • Hairstyles determine how each round is played. The choices are: natural, fried and dyed, extensions and nappy.
  • Unwanted men may be discarded at a recycle bin.

On the heavier side, the game addresses sexism, racism, promiscuity,domestic violence, abortion, ageism, and poverty. Through it all, Big Mama’s Traits (e.g., love, dignity, courage, wisdom, etc.) are the stabilizing forces. As in real life, not understanding the rules is part of the game. What begins as a light-hearted game of chance morphs into a game of strategy as players become more proficient.

The game’s message is not “ain’t it awful how badly we’ve suffered”. Rather, it’s about making good survival choices. Success requires knowing the proper use of faith, love, courage, a switch, some foil, hair grease and grits.

The other game is BlackBoard, a trivia game about black American history and experience. You start the game on a slave ship with seven links in your chain, gaining or losing a link with each question you answer wrongly or rightly.