Friday, December 19, 2008

The Black Doll Affair: "We're Pretty....Philanthropic"

Christmas is approaching and many young girls will receive dolls as gifts this holiday season. For African American girls, its important that the dolls they receive look like them.

The Oprah Show even dedicated an episode about this very topic a year ago. She featured then 18-year old Kiri Davis, a young filmmaker who replicated the famous 'doll test' from the 1940s by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark, which concluded black children preferred white dolls over black dolls when asked which doll was good, which was bad, and which looked most like them. Fifty years later, Kiri found the same results.

Kiri shared to Oprah, "I think those attitudes that existed 50 years ago are still here." She concluded that overturning these ideals of beauty is everyone's responsibility.

Dana Hill, a PR, marketing and event consultant based in Atlanta, was watching that episode and it hit her like a ton of bricks. Two months later, Dana decided to host a Christmas party to give beautiful black dolls to beautiful black girls by beautiful black women. She used her public relations background to get the Atlanta community to donate black dolls, also enlisting the support of the local newspaper, radio stations and models from a modeling agency to hand out the dolls.

The event was a success, and it was the first time many of the girls ever received a black doll. Although Dana had planned this as a one time event, many asked, what about next year? The Black Doll Affair was born.

The Black Doll Affair is a philanthropic, social network of black women who donate black dolls to black girls at Christmas. The philanthropic women of the Black Doll Affair are referred to as The Black Dolls, volunteers of all ages and sizes. Some are fashion models while others are community role models, hence their slogan, We're pretty...philanthropic. By donating these beautiful black dolls, they hope to increase the self-esteem of black girls and remind them of their beauty.

I first learned about Dana and The Black Doll Affair after reading an article about them in the Sun Sentinel newspaper recently. I became so intrigued that I contacted Dana to learn more and to share how you can get involved!

How to Join: There are currently two chapters: Atlanta and Florida, with a forthcoming chapter in Los Angeles. By donating $10 (just $10!) you'll become a member, with your donation used to purchase a doll. You'll then receive a Black Doll wristband. That's it! If there isn't a chapter in your city or state, they still welcome you to join. Members come from all over, including New York, Connecticut, and even overseas. The Black Dolls use the social networking site to interact with each other, post year round event information, photos and more.

Membership is open to everyone! For men, there's The Black Doll Brothers and The Porcelain Pals in Florida for Latino women and other races.

Not only do the young girls benefit, but the women do as well. Black Doll member Brandi shares, "The Black Doll Affair is a great organization with a significant mission. It's so important that young girls know how beautiful they are inside and out to transition into strong women that take over the world. And not only does the Black Doll Affair do just that, it brings together black women who otherwise may have never connected and shows unity."

Be A Doll, Give A Doll!

To join, visit the website at


Julie said...

LA Now!! Girl you are on FIRE!!!!
Great Job Sistah!

Angela said...

The work and word is being spreaded and recognized for a wonderful cause.