Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Beatriz Doll Project Needs Your Input

A digital film student at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City Missouri has observed that in Kansas City it is still surprisingly difficult to find black baby play dolls. After searching at several toy stores and Super Wal-Marts and not being happy with the selection, Emily Kissner decided to start a multiphase project that includes creating a documentary that will display peoples' observations about the importance of diversity being displayed in products for children.

Emily requested my help with her project.  Specifically, she wanted to interview me on my interactions with dolls as a collector and enthusiast.  Instead of a telephone interview, I suggested Emily craft a questionnaire for me to answer, which I did.  I offered to share the same questionnaire with fellow doll collectors who would be interested in offering their input. 

Please read more about the Baby Beatriz Doll Project below and, if you would, please take the time to copy and paste the questionnaire into an email, answer the questions, and submit your answers to Emily at your earliest convenience.  Her email address follows the questionnaire. 

The Baby Beatriz Project will illuminate and confront the multifaceted, complex issues that deal with minority children in Kansas City not having adequate access to products that represent their ethnic/racial group. I will focus mainly on the availability and selection of black baby dolls in local stores. A multiphase approach will be utilized.

I am working to incorporate the opinions of people that have had experience with black dolls as children and as adults. I would love to hear your opinions and experiences. Please help me in my search for information and insight by responding to the questions that I have posted below.

You can visit my blog for the full project description and for project process:

Baby Beatriz Project Questionnaire
In what area did you grow up? 

Did you play with baby dolls when you were a child?

Tell me a story about your favorite doll from childhood?

As a child do you remember owning black dolls, white dolls or multiple races? Do you remember being aware of the ethnicities of your dolls at the time that you were playing with them?

Have you ever gone to a store (as a child or presently) interested in buying a black doll? If so, what did you experience? Were you happy with the selection at the store? Why or why not?

Do you believe that there is a legitimate excuse for a large store such a Wal-Mart or Toys R’ Us to not carry several ethnically different dolls?

Do you feel as if the toy selection in stores can affect the way a child looks at the world (consciously or unconsciously)? If so, how? Do you think that it is important for children to have access to dolls that represent their race or ethnicity? Why or why not?

As part of a black doll collecting community do you find it difficult to locate black dolls (at the present time)? During your lifetime, have you seen any changes in availability of black dolls; if so, can you discuss your observations?

What inspires you the most about black dolls?

Please feel free to comment on any issues that you feel I have left out.


Please email your answers to Emily at:

Thank you in advance for helping Emily gather the data needed for the Baby Beatriz Project.  Your input will help in "facilitating social justice, one toy aisle at a time." 



  1. The questionnaire can also be emailed to you directly at your request via a comment to this blog or a formal email request to:


  2. I have completed the questionnaire, but the link to Emily's address will not work on my computer. There is a file missing. Can you give me her email address so I can send her the answers? Thanks.

  3. Thanks Vanessa for taking the time to complete the questionnaire. Emily's email address is:

    Thanks also for letting me know the address link in the blog did not work for you. I will revise the blog not to correct that.


  4. The last statement in my previous comment should have read: I will revise the blog now to correct that.


  5. thanks for the address. I don't think the blog has a problem. The problem is in my computer. There is a file missing that doesn't allow that function to work right now.


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