Buying from Black-owned businesses this holiday season is more important than ever, even when it comes to buying something as simple as toys for our kids. It’s not as easy as it should be to find toys made and sold by Black-owned companies — which, actually, is why it’s important to support the ones that are out there. Vote with your dollar and show the gatekeepers (investors, banks, big retailers) that representation matters in the toy industry as much as everywhere else.
Now for some great news: Though they’re certainly not as plentiful as the toymakers based in far off lands of Europe and Asia, homegrown Black toymakers have created some beautiful, quality toys that your kids will love. We found baby teethers, plushies, dolls, action figures, puzzles, and games suited for children of all ages. Name a category of toy and there is likely a Black-owned entrepreneur who made a quality toy that fits.
If you or your children are Black, we don’t need to tell you the value of putting money back into the community, rather than into some nameless, faceless megacorp. We also know that when children of color see themselves represented in books, toys and ads for toys, they don’t get the message that white children are somehow better than them.
And if you’re not Black, this is one more opportunity to put your money where so many of us put our mouths back in June. All of our children benefit when there are more people of diverse backgrounds represented in this industry: They get a bigger selection of fun things to play with, and their pretend world looks a little more like the real world around them.
In addition to the toys we list here, we also recommend you take a minute to shop in real-life or online at a Black-owned store. The Black Toy Store is a wonderful, extensive online resource. We also adore the offerings of Chicago-based clothing and toy boutique Kido, which sells many of its products online too. Or shop locally, at places that employ people from your neighborhood.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
But, without further ado, here are our top picks for toys from Black-owned businesses your kids would love to receive this holiday season.