There’s a new doll in town: @PrettyBrwnGirls Doll Launch #InfluencialBabyDoll #TellUsDetroit

By M. Binion /Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – There have been many variations of the landmark Doll Test originally conducted by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in which they reported that when children were asked to identify which doll they preferred to play with a black or a white doll many young African American children reportedly identified with the black doll but rather chose to play with the white doll.

According to the study this selection suggested a lack of self-esteem based on societal racism and though there are articles by authors such as Gwen Bergner that raise questions regarding the continued validity of these studies there continues to be concern that many of the images and dolls available do not foster positive images for African American children.

This was the concern held by Sheri and Corey Crawley who recently located to suburban Michigan from suburban Chicago. While visiting a doll store in Chicago, Sheri noticed that her children and their friends were not choosing to play with brown skinned dolls she subsequently discovered the store had only one brown skinned doll whose character was that of a freed slave. Sheri and her husband began to notice changes in their young daughters while attending a school in Michigan that had few African American students. The parents noticed behavior that indicated their girls carefully built confidence in themselves was eroding. Shari began to wonder how to help her daughters.

There is an old adage about “necessity being the mother of invention.” Well, this mother came up with an idea. Sheri decided to use a term of endearment and encouragement that her husband had coined to reinforce their daughters’ self-worth into a business. Last year the couple established Pretty Brown Girls LLC.

The company aims to encourage little girls to enjoy and embrace the brown skin that they are in and the company also seeks to educate every little girl that brown skin is beautiful To help bolster their efforts, the company is bringing “The Pretty Brown Girl Doll” to the marketplace this month. The company also has other products including a children’s book entitled Pretty Brown Girl, My First Day of School. Beginning this month the company also has a global initiative called “Empower a Girl, Empower the World.” For every signature” Pretty Brown Girl Doll” purchased, a second doll will be donated to a girl in need of encouragement.

For further information about the company, its products or the initiative contact http://www.prettybrowngirl.com

REFERENCES Bergner, G.. (2009). Black Children, White Preference: Brown v. Board, the Doll Tests, and the Politics of Self-Esteem. American Quarterly, 61(2), 299-332,423. Retrieved July 15, 2012, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1760316091).

 

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