Black Dolls or White Dolls?| ABENA

20 September 2016

There are so many brands today when it comes to buying merchandise for our children. Clothes, shoes, toys, accessories etc. But what do these brands stand for? Do we buy them because they look cool, or they are characters from a movie our children love or do they represent something more?
In 1940 the first “doll test” was conducted by Doctors Kenneth and Mamie Clark and by Good Morning America and many more researchers.
What is the 'Doll Test'?
It's a test where a group of preschool-aged black children are presented with two dolls...  one Caucasian and one with darker skin. They are then asked to pick which one they would like to play with or like the most amongst other questions. They discovered most dark/brown skinned children preferred white over the brown doll. The study and its conclusions were used in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, which led to the desegregation of American schools.
The tests showed that white children, as a whole, responded with a high rate of what researchers call "white bias," identifying the colour of their own skin with positive attributes and darker skin with negative attributes. Spencer said even black children, as a whole, have some bias toward whiteness, but far less than white children. Read more...
A lot of African-American, coloured, dark/brown skin parents today prefer their children especially girls to play with dolls that have a similar colour to that of their own and not necessarily white. The studies prove that a lot of children prefer white dolls because they think black/brown dolls are ugly and white dolls are prettier. The studies also show that the self-esteem and self-worth of  some of our young girls are easily influenced before they fully understand the true meaning of race and racism.
But as much as we would like to blame society for these misconceptions. It's not entirely its fault. it is also the duty of parents to instil certain truths, values and perceptions about themselves and about others because the truth is, race will always be an issue for certain people but it is how we are as individuals that combats and nullifies what they think. It won't matter and it wont affect you.

It's a shame that even some big shops,companies and brands price 'black products and merchandise' differently.  On Amazon an African-American family dollhouse from Fisher price cost $37.99 and the white Caucasian family dollhouse cost $63.99. I don't know if we should be happy we can save money or sad that our value is so hugely depreciated.

Even with the black/brown dolls there is an issue. If it is going to be done, it has to be done well. We do not have straight long silky hair. The dolls should have the correct hair texture because these dolls do represent our culture and our race. Bring the kinks, the coils and the curls. The almighty Afro's and the different textures.
That is why we started the Curls-AuNaturel Backpack range. Our little animations were specially designed to be relatable to the children of our society. This is a way to engage children and make being a Naturel fun. Our animations represent every hair type and we will continue to bring a variety which will make them trendy enough to inspire our girls to appreciate and accept the way God made them.

Support the movement. #teamnatural.
Its not just about hair but about the future of our society and how we can positively influence it. We might not be able to change their views but we definitely can shape that of our children.
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