Monday, January 21, 2013

Reborn Barack

On pages 360-361 of Black Dolls A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion (2008), for Illustration 785 (shown below on left), I wrote:

Reborn doll named Barack by unnamed artist

Barack is a biracial doll that uses the Berenguer “Asian Ning” doll head.  His new brown cloth body has a silicone pellet filling and, when held, his weighted head gives the feel of a newborn infant’s floppy head movement.  Eyelashes, glass eyes; and hand-rooted, dark brown hair give him a realistic appearance.  The doll was reborn in February 2005 by a reborn artist using on-hand reborning supplies, shortly after Barack Obama made history in 2004 by becoming the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.  Because of the doll’s biracial ethnicity, the author named it for the history-making senator, who at the time of this writing is a 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful.  Coincidentally, the doll, Barack, bears a likeness to author’s grandson, Caleb, as an infant.  With one Caleb doll already in her collection, the name Barack seemed most appropriate for this baby.

DBG's grandson, Caleb, in 2001
To illustrate the facial similarities between the doll and my grandson, the image on the left of  Grandson as an infant is also included on page 361 of Black Dolls.

The book, however, does not divulge the entire story of how I came to acquire reborn Barack.  The true story is that I had commissioned a particular reborn artist to reborn two other dolls for me, infant girls.  After the dolls arrived, I noticed what appeared to be animal bite marks on one of the doll's ears.  Having paid the artist a substantial amount for both dolls, I informed her that I had discovered the damaged ear and wondered why she had not been upfront about it.  The second doll had some minor discolorations in the vinyl. 

Reborn doll, Barack
The artist apologized profusely and later oddly "pieced together" Barack, combining a chocolate brown cloth body with the doll's lighter vinyl head, hands, and feet and sent him to me as a "peace" offering.  This is why I consider him "biracial" and why I named him Barack. 


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limbe dolls said...

Barack is precious and so is your grandson!

Georgia Girl said...

Debbie, your grandson is adorable and so is your baby Barack. I loved reading how he was honored with his name. Something bad turned into something really good.

Muff said...

I got sidelined by the fact that you were sent a doll that an animal chewed on. I would have been beyond ticked. It's like when people say something is from a smoke free home and it's not! Even if they never saw the animal bite it, they still should have quality checked it before mailing. *grumpy*

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Thanks, ladies.

Muff, I was pretty PO'd with her because I know she knew the doll's ear was damaged. The fact that she thought I would not notice and would not confront her about it is what bothered me. But as GG said, something bad turned into something good.


Vanessa said...

Caleb is beyond adorable! Such distinct facial characteristics. I'm glad the seller tried to make amends with Baby Barack. I'm sure you're glad to have him as part of your collection, today. She should have done the right thing in the beginning, which was redo your other dolls or refund your money.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Thanks, Vanessa! It's hard to believe he'll be 12 next month. Time flies!

Being up front and honest would have been the right thing for her to do.