Remember those colorful, clickable little bricks that littered your childhood bedroom? They're having a major comeback, thanks to Fox’s hit show LEGO Masters, now in its third season. The addictive competition series pits two teams against each other in out-of-this-world building challenges, leading to some mind-blowing designs that leave us in awe.
We can't deny that there's something so enticing about LEGOs, which have gone from just kid’s play to a viable art form, allowing Black builders to express themselves in inventive ways that speak to the expansiveness of our culture. Here are six talented Black LEGO masters who show us just how far it can go, one brick at a time.
LEGOs to represent a culture? Definitive yes. That’s the mission of Toronto-based, international artist Ekow Nimako. His intricate designs explore Black, Ghanaian and world culture through Afrofuturistic sculptures, Adinkra symbols and Black mythology figures. “Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism give us unlimited potential and possibilities,” shared Nimako. “It is a great vehicle to change the world perception of Africa and the people of the African diaspora.”
Richard Dryden made his LEGO Masters debut in season two, which was a perfect platform for his lifelong passion for collecting and playing with LEGOs. Working with fellow artist Dave Kaleta, the team showcased builds that stood for diversity, inclusion and environmental sustainability. He’s now pioneering the LEGO community, inspiring children to build with a purpose. Awesome Black Creativity, his 26-week collection celebrating Black pioneers in the arts, sports and civil rights matters, is clickable genius. He also contributes to The Brothers Brick, a website devoted to builders and fans of LEGO.
Hip-hop archivist Syreeta Gates locked up the title of being the first Black woman on LEGO Masters when she and digital designer/fellow LEGO enthusiast Randall Wilson brought their hip-hop fusion vibe to season two. Gates started her journey building LEGO architecture sets and realized there was a definitive space to bring her two loves together. She co-founded the Most Incredible Studio, a creative studio creating hip-hop-inspired LEGO art in Queens, New York.
Travis and Corey Samuels
We just didn’t just get enough of the ever-so-well-dressed Travis and Corey Samuels on the first season of LEGO Masters, which is why their Brothers Who Brick reels invade our feeds. Their love for all things LEGOs started as kids in Irvington, N.J., where they were drawn to all sorts of artistic outlets. Since appearing on the show, the Samuels siblings have focused their light on education and early childhood development with virtual and in-person LEGO classes.
Mel Brown, one-half of the “East Coast Brickers,” showed off his LEGO prowess on season one of LEGO Masters. Mel started building LEGO structures in his kitchen and then turned the garage in a new home into a LEGO haven. Brooks loves erecting tall skyscraper-like buildings and shares his builds and thoughts on LEGO inclusivity on his YouTube channel, IcebergBricks.