Darnell and Alyssa Gilet are the co-creators of House Party Entertainment and “Do You Know Black?” a multiplatform brand aimed at celebrating and educating people about Black history and culture in a fun and engaging way. Their mission is to spark conversations by curating content and experiences that entertain, inform, and empower the Black community, while also creating a safe space for individuals of all backgrounds to learn about the rich and diverse history of the Black experience.
How did this platform come about?
Alyssa: It goes back to 2015. We loved to host and have entertainment at our house and I would always come up with these fun games to play. At the time, there weren’t other games that were rooted in Black culture, so I would always have to take something that existed and jazz it up with Black topics. I ended up doing Black culture trivia, and it ended up being like a hit. I went to Darnell I told him we can reproduce this and make it an actual game, so we did. We produced the game, and we took it out on a little road show. We were doing tours, HBCU events, and a lot of pop-up events. It was really fun, and a lot of people kept asking when we were going to do a version based on Black history instead of pop culture. I’ve always been passionate about history, but it just didn’t feel like it was the right format just because as a whole, Black people are still learning our history. Darnell proposed the idea, and we decided to make it into a game show.
When did you know this could be something special for the Black community?
Darnell: I think life gives you a lot of different signals from different places, when you’re supposed to do something. There’s a relational component to it, and then there’s a professional component. Professionally, my background is in talent acquisition in diversity, equity and inclusion, so I’ve led strategies for large companies in that area. When you’re having these conversations in these rooms, you start to realize that we’re trying to solve [something] for people that you know nothing about. I realized the foundation of anything diversity related should be to first know the people that you’re trying to impact. That’s one area that brought the passion for me. Personally, when you’re having conversations with people, you realize the lack of information that there is about yourself, your history, and culture, and it’s something you realize that’s a need.