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KC graphic designer creating conversations with playing cards

Designs playing cards featuring Black leaders
Revolution Card deck
Kearra Johnson
Posted at 6:17 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 16:57:04-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City native, Kearra Johnson loves to play cards.

Some of her favorite games are "I Declare War" and "Spoons." In other games, like "Spades," she says she's just a spectator.

"I gave that up. It is what it is though! I watch them play," Johnson said with a laugh, thinking about her friends at the University of Missouri. "I'm contributing in my own way."

Although she's just watching her friends play "Spades," soon they will be playing the game using the playing cards she designed.

"It's a good conversation starter with any and everybody," Johnson said.

The graphic designer created the "Revolution" card deck, filled with prominent Black leaders.

"Everybody loves cards," Johnson said. "There's so many games you can play with cards. With this deck, they're like, 'You got Barack Obama on the card?' And then that just leads them to who else is in the deck."

What started as a school project at the University of Missouri is now a product in Made in KC stores.

"I am so happy," Johnson said. "Personally, I put a lot into this project."

So while you shuffle the Revolution card deck and deal, it's the conversation within the game that makes it a full house.

"On the cards, I put nicknames of each activist or each black figure," Johnson said. "I did that to form more questions. Like, who is that person? What impact did they leave on the Black community and our world?"

Johnson said it's a creative way to open up a discussion and encourages people to ask more questions while playing with the cards.

"Creativity is a direct tool to get conversation started and that's why I wanted to play a part in this. I knew it was just so powerful and so dope overall. I knew I wanted it to get as far as it can, so this is super rewarding to me because I'm in a place like this," Johnson said while looking around the Made in KC store.

She's helping push conversation through playing cards, one hand at a time.

"Then we can continue to have the conversations that are definitely needed," Johnson said. "I really want them to see the work I put into it and just appreciate that alone. This is a quality product and it's for the culture, really."

The Revolution card deck is sold in all Made in KC stores. For more information about Johnson and her card deck, visit her website.