Friday, June 15, 2012

Why Do You Have Black Dolls - Documentary

"Why Do You Have Black Dolls?" is a 25-minute film of interviews with black-doll enthusiasts by Dartmouth student, Samantha Knowles.

The film has been accepted into its first film festival: Run & Shoot Filmworks, Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, which will take place from August 7 through August 11, 2012.

Click the play arrow to watch the trailer:



"Why Do You Have Black Dolls?" also has a Facebook page! Knowles urges you to "like" it to receive updates:   facebook.com/whydoyouhaveblackdolls

Read more about this remarkable young woman, here.


Thank you, Ms. Knowles for your research and work to further expose the historical and cultural significance of embracing black dolls through the joy of doll making, collecting, and play!

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8 comments:

  1. Seems like it will be a great documentary. Funny, I got a similar question just the other day from a Youtube viewer. "Why are all your dolls Black?" It s the 3rd time I received that question since doing the videos. I first point out the non Black people in the videos that they don't see for some reason. I then try to explore why they asked the question, by asking them how many videos with mostly White dolls, have they asked they asked "Why are all the dolls White?" First I have to convince them that I am not being mean, and I am really interested in their answer. Then I proceed to tell them I am Black and want to tell the story from a Black perspective because that is what I know. It is always interesting to delve into the psyche surrounding Black dolls. At the very least, at the end of our communication, I want the person to question why they asked the question in the first place.

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    1. Hi Vanessa,

      After reading the article on Ms. Knowles and the question she was asked as a child by a play date mate, (why do you have black dolls?), I thought about a similar question someone asked me shortly after I joined my first online doll discussion group during the 1990s. I was probably the only member of this group who collected black dolls exclusively. The member asked me in a note posted to the list, "Do you only collect black dolls?" Similar to the way you handled the youtuber, I replied and asked, "Yes. Do you only collect white dolls?"

      To question someone who desires to collect dolls that reflect their image must stem from deep-seated insecurities. I don't quite understand the reasoning behind this thinking. I would never ask someone why they collect or do whatever it is that pleases them when it does not cause harm or injury to anyone.

      But this thinking is rampant. A friend was once called a racist by one of her coworkers because of her all-black doll collection.

      dbg

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  2. What A Proud I Feel Watching This, Debbie!!
    So Beautiful!!
    And I Guess Historically We Never Had So Much People Interested About This Meaning And This Culture Of Dolls All Over The World!
    I Felt Myself Touched By A Black Doll In 2009 And Then Every Year All Over The World I See Black Dolls Expressing History,Self Esteem And The Power Of Beauty Breaking Out Prejudice!
    Thank You For This Post!!
    I Will Share It On My FACEBOOK Profile!!
    It's Important Brasil Knows More About That!!
    Take A Hug Friend!!

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    1. This is definitely a feel good documentary, Jorge. It is nice to see so many others who are as passionate about black dolls and their significance. It lets me know that I am not alone.

      Thank you for sharing it on your Facebook page. The love and need for black dolls is definitely global!

      dbg

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  3. I enjoyed the trailer, Debbie. I hope to see the full documentary one day.

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    1. Me too, Roxanne, me too... I am looking soooo forward to seeing the full 25 minutes and any other unused footage that Sam plans to use on Facebook.

      dbg

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  4. I am looking forward to the film. I hope that it educates people that you can have a collection that represents you. It is hard for some people to realize that there is a world of black dolls.

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    1. I hope the film will educate people that a person can establish a doll collection that reflects their image and culture.

      It is difficult for some people to realize that anyone would prefer a black doll over any other. As if there is something wrong with being black and even worse, that there is something wrong with someone wanting to own a black doll or an entire collection of them.

      Personally, I am not trying to recreate a global society with my collection. I buy the dolls I like, the ones that I can make an immediate connection with, the ones whose beauty outweighs any others to me because I see beautiful black people in them.

      dbg

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!