By Diane Crawford
It is important for African American children to have African American dolls. Child psychologists say that doll play is valuable for many reasons, including self-esteem and ideals of beauty. Children learn who they are and imagine what they might be through their dolls, so it is very important that their dolls look like them, or like attractive role models with whom they can identify. Educators say that these children must learn to love themselves so that they can love and respect others. Building a positive self-image begins with appropriate toys and dolls.
The value of African American dolls has always been underestimated, most tragically by the very children who should treasure them the most. An often-repeated study even shows that black children will choose a white doll over a black one. Caucasians are still largely perceived and presented by the mass media — including children’s TV, books, films and games — as the norm, the default race. The hero may have sidekicks or friends of color, but the hero is nearly always white, although this is beginning to change. A blue-eyed, blonde Caucasian appearance is still considered the most desirable, and African American children pick up on this fact. (Learn more about this at pamshouseblend.com.) Now, more than ever, black children need to receive positive messages — that they are beautiful, that they are wanted as they are, that they can be heroes and achieve great things.
Where can you get a quality African American doll? Today, there is a great variety of African American and other ethnic dolls and toys on the market, including superheroes and action figures as well as babies and fashion dolls. Websites like blackdollaffair.com raise awareness of the need for beautiful African American dolls to give black girls self-esteem.
What do you think BLAM Fam? Is it that important for African American children to receive African American dolls or are we in a “post-racial” era as some people have declared and therefore it’s just not that serious?
Diane Crawford wants you to know that you can buy beautiful black dolls for children of all ages at pattycakedoll.com and sleepysoft.com. From simple rag babies to dress-up princesses, these dolls make excellent gifts for both girls and boys at Christmas, birthdays, or any time of year. Give the beautiful black children in your life a message of love and pride as well as a fun toy they will cherish and pass on to their own children.