Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Installment #1 - Let Freedom Ring

The following is an excerpt from my book,  The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I ListenIn this first electronic book that features "dolls that blog," over a two-year period (January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009) dolls from my personal collection "used me" as a facilitator to tell their individual stories.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Debbie picked me up from the post office today after buying me from “Artistic Differences,” a Ruby Lane seller. Ruby Lane is a cyberspace home to over 2000 independently owned shops from around the world. Several shop owners sell antique-to-modern dolls. Debbie found me at “Artistic Differences” after searching the Internet for dolls made by African American doll artists. My Ruby Lane description read: “This darling little girl is a one of a kind sculpt by Gloria Young. From the bottom to the top [of] her flag pole she is 10" tall. She is very primitive and just so charming.”

It’s a small world because Gloria Young is a former member of WLBD and remains a member of Debbie’s Black Doll-E-Zine Yahoo! Group. Debbie wanted to add one of Gloria’s polymer clay sculpts to her collection after purchasing Lou-Ellen, a cloth doll made by Gloria. Even though Gloria’s dolls are considered primitive, they are never derogatory or offensive. Her dolls all have a story to tell and I do, too.

I represent a recently freed, young slave girl. I’m probably 8, but I don’t really know when I was born. I just came and they never told me. They took me from my mama and brought me here. I had to carry water to the field workers and do just about whatever they wanted me to do… had to, if I didn’t want a whipping and wanted to stay living. The only day I didn’t have to work was Sunday, but by the time Sunday came around, I was always so tired and there wasn’t ever anything fun to do. Me and the other children played made-up silly games and sang songs, but before you knew it, Sunday would be Monday with more work to do.

As a slave, I never learned to read and write. That wasn’t allowed. You see this smile on my face… I always smile, even when I’m not happy. No use in walking around with a frown on my face because a frown never solved a problem. But you know what? I’m really happy now. This smile is for real because why? Because I’m free now and because Debbie found me and can tell my story.

I traveled all the way from Temperance, Michigan to Texas. Temperance… now, imagine that? Debbie doesn’t know how I arrived in Temperance because Gloria lives in New Jersey, but by way of New Jersey somehow to Michigan, I am now in Texas.

I am seated on a wooden bench. It has the image of a horse’s head at the base. My dress is tea stained and I have a red bandana tied around my neck. My shoes are molded. My hair is, too. The American flag, picture of Abraham Lincoln, and basket of cotton add to my “Let Freedom Ring” theme.


X (Let Freedom Ring, but Debbie is thinking about naming me Temperance Freedom)


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  1. Great story Debbie. Is Google the only place to get your book?

  2. Sorry I missed this question: In addition to the eBooks sold through Google's book store, an ultra-limited, autographed, numbered paper back is available through and my bookstore as well as through the buy link on the home page of this blog.



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