Press Release

The Celebrates Black History Month with Program, Online Exhibit, and Display

Published February 5, 2024

ROCHESTER, NY—In honor of Black History Month, The Strong National Museum of Play will host a day-long celebration on February 10 and has launched a new online exhibit on the history of hip-hop and a display case about Black toy representation. More details about each follow:

Black History Month Celebration, February 10

The Strong honors the rich heritage, achievements, and contributions of Black Americans with a day of education, celebration, and play:

  • Learn about influential Black jazz musicians and then make your own music.
  • Play with View-Masters and enjoy the card game Phase 10, all designed or redesigned by Black inventors.
  • Learn about the life of Dr. Lonnie Johnson and play with his creation—the NERF Blaster!
  • Be like track star Jesse Owens and clear the mini hurdles in record time.
  • Watch and learn step moves from the John James Audubon Eagle Steppers at 33 School.
  • And snap a picture with the iconic and playful Miss Sweet Potato Pie!

New Online Exhibit—Re-Play: The First Fifty Years of Hip-Hop Fun

Founded amidst the fallout from the assassinations of leaders of the civil rights movements of the 1960s, hip-hop channeled the angst of a generation. Re-Play: The First Fifty Years of Hip-Hop Fun—launched in partnership with Google Arts & Cultureexplores hip-hop as a site of play and examines its cultural impact on playthings.

View the Exhibit: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/SQUBHRE1BDzGyw

Display Case on Black Toys

A new display case in the museum’s Adams Atrium explores the rise of Shindana Toys in the 1960s—a company that formed to address racial inequities in toys—and the push by Black-owned toy companies like Olmec and Cultural Toys to diversify the toy aisles. Also, don’t miss the Black Doll Designers exhibit, also on the first floor.

About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.