In Doll Tests, children identified the black doll as bad, ugly and least preferred.
In 2005, in an attempt to "brown the playing field" in product marketing, Dana "Mama Doll" Hill had the chutzpah to create a self-promoting campaign (Got Spokesmodel?) and post a self-image billboard at the corners of 52nd Street and Broadway in New York’s Times Square. The striking model and publicist at the time, received the rude awakening that she was the "black doll" that nobody was choosing.
In 2007, she founded The Black Doll Affair (TBDA), a philanthropic organization and self-esteem movement for black girls and women (The Black Dolls) to re-establish their self-esteem, self-image and worth in a society where black women are all too often lowest on the totem pole. TBDA is a solution to the infamous Doll Tests from the documentary 'A Girl Like Me' where black children associated black dolls with being “bad” and “ugly” and made it clear that they preferred white dolls, which they deemed “pretty” and “good.” “The Black Doll Affair is not about the color of your skin. It’s about loving the color of your skin, no matter what shade of black. It’s about self-esteem in hue. It’s about feeling good the way you were born – dark or light. It’s about girls and women conquering self-defeating, self-limiting thought patterns of ‘I’m not good enough because I was born a black girl. It’s about loving who you are, and rejecting that pop culture statement: 'You’re so pretty to be black!' " proclaims Hill.
Though the billboard didn’t make national headlines or go viral, Hill’s efforts kickstarted The Black Doll Affair movement and therefore haven’t gone unnoticed. Over the course of the past few years Oprah’s OWN Network, BET, TV One, Macy's, Mattel, Essence magazine, the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” Microsoft, and the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty have each given the movement a boost. In 2009, supported by Georgia’s governor, Atlanta’s mayor, the Atlanta City Council, Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate, BDA received a Proclamation for Black Doll Affair Day on Dec. 12th.
The Black Dolls accepted an invitation to Congressman John Lewis’ Washington, D.C. office and President Barack Obama’s White House. TBDA received a Volunteer Service Award from President Obama. Celebrities in support of the movement are: Barbie, Gabrielle Union, Danny Strong, Taye Diggs, and the Brown sisters of Brown vs. Board of Education. The Browns are the namesake family of the historical supreme court case at the time "The Doll Test" was officially first conducted. The Black Doll Affair will celebrate its ten year anniversary December, 17, 2017.
Partners with Mattel (Barbie brand), Macy's, and its members, The Black Dolls, it continues to grow in community outreach and recognition of its efforts in making a difference in the way black girls and women are seen and see themselves.
Become a Black Doll. There are NO membership fees, just buy a Black Doll Tee.