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Black Is Magic: How Magic: The Gathering Is Transforming One Teacher’s Game Club

On the wall in Mike Lawton’s classroom rests a cardboard cut-out of a Black man. It’s not Martin Luther King Jr. or any other famous Black figure from history—it’s a mage—dark skinned and powerful-looking as a spell shoots from his fingertips. It’s Teferi, one of Magic: The Gathering’s most powerful main characters known as Planeswalkers, and he’s Lawton’s students’ favorite.