One of the critical characteristics of Millennials is their affinity for a good kickback — particularly game night. Although game nights are meant to be fun, it’s no joking matter. Whether it is Uno or Spades, you will be hard-pressed to find a Millennial who does not love a good game with friends or who is not serious about the rules and outcome of said game.
Well, game night just got a little more interesting with the introduction of LikeU Cards, a Black-owned and Black-created card game that aims to end awkward conversations while combating cancel culture.
The Need For Conversation
LikeU was formed by three friends – Kiara Imani, Brian Taylor, and Michael Nelder Henderson, who all came together from their own diverse professional backgrounds.
During the height of the pandemic and the onset of social unrest sparked by the murder of George Floyd – Imani, Taylor, and Henderson joined forces to create a game that would show that people had more in common than what was different.
“I had a friend telling me she was having an incredibly hard time building relationships with her in-laws, Trump supporters. It got to a point in 2020 where she was like, I don’t know if I can even do relationships with them anymore. She took LikeU cards to a family gathering. That was the first time they had been able to have a conversation as humans and see each other past labels and political ideologies,” Imani explained.
The Power Of Connection
While the game itself is designed to foster deeper relationships, the three creators have a connection that also goes beyond the surface.
“Church. That’s where we met, actually. The church is not just a great place to worship, but it’s a great place to network. It was a meeting of the minds. I was the bridge between Kiara and Brian and me, but now we are a conglomerate,” Henderson explained.
Imani admits that her preferred working style was solo before this partnership. However, each team member understands their strengths and uses them to advance the business.
Although the game has implications for FUBU (for us, by us), it is inclusive. Imani and Henderson described wanting to create something that everyone, regardless of background, could relate to.
“For a long time, we’ve all watched movies and bought products created by white people that everybody enjoyed,” Imani said. “Black [people] have something to offer [for us] and to the world at large,” Imani continued.
It's Level To This
The game is split into two categories based on colors, yellow and blue. The yellow questions are light-hearted, and the blue questions are more profound and soul-touching. The two different categories were to create options because everyone’s approach to interaction is different.
“In relationships with folks, there are levels — time and assessing the individual dictates how deeper you go. And, certain questions – sometimes we just not there yet,” Henderson pointed out.
Imani and Henderson believe in the game. And with great determination, they were able to get LikeU in front of larger audiences by partnering with Target.
In Imani’s own words, she was feisty about the collaboration. From cold calls to being overly prepared with decks and presentations, the creators described leaving no stone unturned when pursuing partnerships.
Regarding what is next, LikeU will expand its offering to serve children. Gathering feedback from educators that a game like this could be helpful in the classroom, the LikeU creators are already at work preparing a child-like iteration of the game for elementary and middle school students.
Editorial Note: Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity.