Within the past several years, younger generations have become more aware of the magic that is melanin! It is truly a beautiful thing to see viral videos of children imitating New Edition dance moves and learning all their hits after watching the highly anticipated biopic that aired last month. Jacquetta Bess says she was that kind of kid. She grew up listening to music from her parent’s heyday and fell in love with it. So it makes sense that today she has created her own Black culture game called Say it LOUD! that’s sure to get the party started and educate at the same time. Say it LOUD! features questions than span decades of music, movies, television shows and literature with clues ranging from the obvious to the obscure. The five categories are:
A= Books, Literature, the Arts
T= People, Places, and Things
The game is played between two teams with one game host. Each team consists of two players at minimum. The game is won by the collective knowledge of your team and the luck of the trivia cards. Since trivia clues are so diverse, teams can increase their chance of winning by having players of all ages and interests. Once a question or clue is read by the host, the first team to shake their maraca and answer the question correctly wins that letter. The first team to spell S-A-Y-I-T wins that round. There are three rounds in each game.
Here we talked to Bess about what prompted her to create this game and how people have reacted to the concept so far.
Madame Noire (MN): What inspired you to create Say it LOUD!?
Jacquetta Bess (JB): The concept of Say it LOUD! has been brewing for many years. Growing up, my family’s home was always filled with great music. My mother would take me to film festivals and poetry readings. She lined our bookshelves with African-American literature and history books. Friendly competitions with music started during car rides with my dad. If I started singing along to an old song on the radio, he’d say something like, “You don’t know nothing ‘bout that. I’ll give you a dollar if you can tell me who’s singing”—and the guessing would begin. Today, 40 years later, he plays that same game with his grandchildren.
MN: How did you come up with questions in the game? (They’re soooo fun!)
JB: Trivia from movies, television, music, and literature that have been a part of our lives became the foundation of Say it LOUD! The clues span several decades: my parents were born in the ‘40s and ‘50s, my sister in the early ‘80s, and I am a ‘70s baby. The music clues were the most fun to create. It was a big part of my childhood— The Dells, Delphonics, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind and Fire—the list is endless. Later on, gospel was added to my list, including the legendary Clark Sisters.
MN: Would you consider yourself a Black history buff? How did you learn so much about black contributions to society?
JB: I am not a Black history buff by any stretch of the imagination. I just love learning about different cultures. My love for Black culture was further ignited when I studied African American studies at Temple University. It was there, through professors as well as my peers that I learned the richness of our culture and its influence in our world. It was the ’80s and an exciting time in music. My New York colleagues introduced me to Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Eric B. and Rakim—it was instant love!
MN: What are your hopes for Say it LOUD! ?
JB: My vision for Say it LOUD! is that it becomes a household name—a staple at all of our family reunions, game nights and cook-outs, like spades and dominoes! I already have a second edition of add-on refill cards prepared to go to the editor. My family and I have been manufacturing and shipping all of the promotional copies from our home so we are limited in what we can produce. We are excited to have it professionally manufactured in large quantities so that it can get into thousands of households.
MN: What kinds of responses are you getting from the game thus far?
JB: The response for the game has been enthusiastic! Black business owners are playing it with their staff; local cafes and venues are planning to use it for their Trivia Nights. Most importantly, friends and families have been reconnecting in their homes, coming together for game nights and good times!
MN: How can people purchase the game?
JB: We are planning to launch our Kickstarter campaign on April 1. Upon successful funding, the beautifully manufactured premiere edition of Say it LOUD! will be bringing fun and laughter to 2017 Labor Day festivities. Say it LOUD! Party Game will be given to those individuals who donate $25.00.
MN: How do you think this game will help black families see our history as something that happens more than 28 days out the year?
JB: Challenging times like these create a renaissance of culture. I believe that people of color will live louder and prouder than they ever have before. I hope that we make serious impact in political, economic, cultural and artistic arenas. Say it LOUD! celebrates that!