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An elegant card game from Studio LO honors 12 black figures who revolutionized history

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April 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Studio LO, released with permission

Kansas City, Missouri-based designer Kearra Johnson from Studio LO describes their standard 54-card deck as anything but traditional: it’s revolutionary. On one side of each playing card there is a raised fist, a symbol that is synonymous with the fight against oppression around the world. But the K, Q, and J of all four suits feature portraits of groundbreaking black icons who have profoundly influenced history, from Michelle Obama and Thurgood Marshall to Malcolm X and Rosa Parks. “I wanted to go with the powerful characters we all learned about growing up,” Johnson told Colossal. “Those who drove change and those we are familiar with, but also those who are not as traditional as others. These traits range from Oprah Winfrey to the man with the dream, MLK Jr.”

The concept for the Revolution Card Deck arose from a class project while the 22-year-old designer was a student at the University of Missouri. She created a couple of physical decks after a professor asked to buy some as gifts, a request that spurred Johnson to print more. Since the project was featured on both CNN and NPR, she has sold hundreds of decks that remain an integral part of Studio LO’s inventory and are now available on the web Colossal store. You can also follow Johnson’s activism-oriented blueprints Instagram.

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