Tuesday, April 25, 2017

From Controversy to Empowerment the History of Black Dolls

The I See Me:  Reflections in Black Dolls exhibition, which is currently ongoing at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum of History in Detroit, Michigan has been extended through June 25, 2017.

From Controversy to Empowerment:  the History of Black Dolls, by Nadja Sayej, published today in The Guardian, offers nice coverage of the exhibition.  Sayej's article also touches on the history of black dolls.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the events tab of this blog.

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  1. What an interesting article. Thanks for the link to it.

    That must be an excellent exhibit. I wish it could come to a city closer to mine.

    About the black/white Topsy-Turvy dolls, the ones I've seen so far- both in real life and photographs-all belonged to white children originally. I hope that at some point we'll find out why they were made but I can't imagine a parent would give their child such a doll unless they liked both sides. It's so much easier to make a regular rag doll than a Topsy Turvy.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read the article, Maricha and for letting me know you enjoyed it.

      A lot of ingenuity and extra time went into the making of the original Topsy-Turvy dolls. As slave children probably had very little time to play with dolls, it is understandable that the dolls were probably made for white children as a doll to represent the roles of whites and blacks. The black doll was usually fashioned as a servant with the white doll dressed in attire representative of the time. Some black Topsy-Turveys, however, were dressed as elaborately as the white doll.



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