The Toy Industry: Why Are There So Few Black Faces?

Portrait of happy students holding diplomas on graduation day

It’s not that the door isn’t open. It’s not even visible.


Here is how you know that there are not many African-Americans working in the toy industry. When you do see someone who is Black, you notice it.

When it comes to race and the toy industry, the lack of African-Americans in the toy industry is very much the elephant in the room. This lack of representation, of course, raises the question: Why? After all, its 2020 and the modern toy industry has been around for well over one  hundred years.

One reason we don’t see many Black faces is that many people, and that includes African-Americans, simply don’t think about the toy industry as a career opportunity.  How many of you have found that when asked what you do for a living and respond with “I work in the toy industry,” get this two-step response?

1. That must be fun.

2. How did you do that? (Meaning how did you get a job in the toy industry).

Getting a job is, of course, not magic. What concerns me is the absence of a simple understanding of how to get a job in the industry leads me to believe that we, as an industry, do not do enough to promote career opportunities. It’s not that the door isn’t open. It’s not  even visible.

I think one thing we as individuals, individual companies and an industry can do is to conduct outreach to historically Black colleges and universities to recruit and talk to students about the toy industry as a career path. By reaching out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, we will not just be opening the door but assisting Black graduates in realizing there is a door.

That is just a first step, but it is at least a step.

There are over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We can’t be everywhere, but we could begin with these ten highly-rated institutions of Higher learning.

Howard University Washington DC
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans Louisiana
Hampton University Hampton Virginia
Morehouse College Atlanta Georgia
Tuskegee University Tuskegee Alabama
Clark Atlanta University Atlanta Georgia
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee Florida
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Greensboro North Carolina
North Carolina Central University Durham North Carolina
Southern University and A&M College Baton Rouge Louisiana

See a full list by visiting

One thought

  1. I completely agree with this tactic and can be expanded to the larger People of Color (POC) community such as Hispanic/Latino population.

Leave a Reply