Mother couldn’t find toys that teach children about black history, so she started her own toy company

In 2016 Tiffney Laing, from Ashburn, Virginia, launched Bevy and Dave to help parents and educators explore Black history through the leadership, rather than oppression.

Tiffney told Good Morning America, “When you understand the experiences of African Americans and Black people around the world, if you’re going to study the oppression, you also have to talk about how they were able to succeed beyond that,”

“I feel like children should be inspired by Black History and not be depressed by it.”

“Can you imagine constantly being told something negative and never following up with something positive?” Laing added. “It does something to the spirit.”

Tiffney, who is a mother to 8-year-old Beverly, used to be an administrator and professor of leadership studies. She was enrolled in a doctoral program and researched how children learn Black history. She said she left the program to create solutions instead of just studying about it.

A year before her business launch she realised that she couldn’t find toys for her daughter that celebrated Black leaders. That’s when she got the idea to make these toys herself. She then ventured to a trade show where she met manufacturers and found a designer who could help her bring to life toys that would teach and empower children.

On October 14th 2016, the first Bevy and Dave toy came out. It was a wooden puzzle block set and now there are now three wooden puzzles that celebrate Black inventors and leaders. The toys are also designed for preschool through elementary students.

Tiffney explained, “Our job as adults is to do the very best of helping children see the best in themselves- encourage and empower them,”

“If we really want to get past those racial barriers, we have to share the beauty of everyone’s contributions. As they get a little older and they start to connect to their heritage, country and learn about diff ethnic groups, they will see through a lens that will be helpful and not hurtful.”

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