Topsy-Turvy Doll from the 1870s.
In February 21st’s issue of Collector’s Weekly, Associate Editor Lisa Hix wrote a thoughtful, in-depth article entitled “Black Is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter.” Hix’ piece covers the comprehensive history of black dolls, from early 19th century Topsy Turvy dolls (pictured above) to Limited Edition Black Barbies (pictured below). GBN encourages you to click here to check it out.
Barbie Collector edition doll, called “In the Limelight” was the first featuring clothing by black designer Byron Lars.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
Samantha Knowles, 22, surrounded by the subject of her new 25-minute movie.
Sometimes, a doll is not just a doll. It’s a reminder of a child’s beauty and potential. No one understands that better than 22-year-old director Samantha Knowles, whose experience growing up as an African-American in a predominantly white community was the inspiration for her new documentary, “Why Do You Have Black Dolls?”
The 25-minute debut film about the significance of black dolls has been accepted at five film festivals and a trailer for “Why Do You Have Black Dolls” can be seen on Youtube.com.
“When I was 8, a white friend came over and innocently asked, ‘Why do you have black dolls?” remembers Knowles, who was raised in Warwick, N.Y., and now lives in Prospect Heights. “At the time, I obviously couldn’t really answer the question.” Fourteen years later, she can. Knowles, who initially made the film as her honors thesis at Dartmouth College, spent $6,000 and interviewed more than 20 dollmakers and historians, mostly in New York and Philadelphia.
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