Thank you for taking the time to learn more about The Black Dolls, their Affairs and the Doll that started it all. With members and leaders both nationally and abroad, The Black Doll Affair is based out of Atlanta, GA. On December 17, 2007, after witnessing a "Doll Test" on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dana Hill started this movement. Affectionately called "Mama Doll," she loves that name, as it is one given to her by her members: The Black Dolls.The Black Dolls (black women), their Porcelain Pals (non-black supporters) and their Brothas (all races of men).
"If beauty is hard to define, black beauty is rocket science. Beauty can’t be defined. It certainly can’t be placed in a box. Some advertising campaigns would have you believe that black women are not the standard of beauty…and yet, prototypes of our genetic body parts are being sold in record numbers. From the island tan to the bee stung lip, to injections at the cheek and hip, don’t believe the hype that you’re of bargain basement value. Doll, you’re a Goddess, genetically engineering a multi-billion dollar beauty industry. Black beauty, like any designer knockoff, has often upstaged fashion’s status quo and created trends that ignite unexpected brands and inspired iconic phrases such as: The Black Dolls!"- Mama Doll
In a world of housewives and hip-hop brands that do little to promote #blackgirlmagic, Mama Doll has been shining a light on the forgotten community of black women that get along, plays well with others, behaves dolling, promotes kindness in sisterhood and rocks their self-esteem bhuetifully. For more than a decade, Mama Doll has been building a healthy "playground" for black women and girls. Her day job as their champion & cheerleader, her talent for marketing their magic, and her gift for communicating their worth; combined with her ability to operate their large movement, build her dolling team and lift them up where they belong; all while partnering with them to give back with their big philanthropic hearts has literally changed the game and set The Black Doll Affair sisterhood apart.
HOW DID SHE GET THERE?
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 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. At the time, the striking model and publicist received the rude awakening that she was the "black doll"...
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 the 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 kick-started 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, Congressman John Lewis, Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate, TBDA received a Proclamation for "The Black Doll Affair Day" in Georgia on December 12th.
The Black Dolls accepted an invitation to Congressman John Lewis’ Washington, D.C. office and President Barack Obama’s White House. The Black Dolls' "pretty...philanthropic" work has been recognized by President Barack Obama, as he awarded The Black Doll Affair with his Presidential Service Award. 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 celebrated its 11th Anniversary December, 17, 2018.
Pictured Below: Mama Doll & Babs!
Partners with Mattel (Barbie brand), Macy's, and its members - The Black Dolls, TBDA 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.
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale - Associates Degree: Broadcasting Lynn University Boca Raton - Bachelor of Arts Degree: Journalism
Seen in Oprah Magazine (March 2019) and Essence Magazine (June 2019) and featured in Prince Harry & Princess Meghan's royal wedding special (May 2018) - The Story of The Royals, produced for television by Time, People and ABC.
To name a few, Honorary Dolls brought on board by Mama Doll are as follows: Civil Rights icons Linda & Cheryl Brown (Brown vs Board of Education); actress Gabriel Union; history making Principle Ballerina Misty Copeland; the world's most beloved doll - Barbie; diversity activist April Reign; Broadway and Hollywood Actor Taye Diggs; and Emmy Award Winner Danny Strong, co-creator of "Empire" and writer of the screenplay "The Butler." Local Atlanta Honorary members include: CBS News Anchor Sharon Reed; Philanthropist and Radio Personality Wanda Smith; Former Georgia State Representative Margaret Kaiser; Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock and William L. Hawthorne, III, Esq, Chief Equity Officer City of Atlanta. With the black heart as the icon in our logo, members of The Black Doll Affair are a group of philanthropists devoted to giving back to "The Doll in the mirror, the Doll next door, and the the guys, dolls and baby dolls in our community."
Photo: 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush & Honorary Black Doll Cheryl Brown Henderson; Brown vs. Board of Education.
Annually during the Christmas season, Mama Doll works with her Ambassadoll leaders in cities across the United States. They gather to host self-esteem summits and Black Doll giveaways at 1:00 pm, in all time zones, on the first Saturday in December.
Created The Big Time Talent Show (TBTTS). Hosted by Dana & her guest host, Tito Puente, Jr., this was a night of musicians arriving to a Grammy Award style show. Talent chosen by Dana arrived in limousines to screaming fans and local paparazzi - all orchestrated by Dana. Displaying their talents to A&R reps from who had yet to take notice. Motown, Billboard Live, Dreamworks, Island Def Jams, Interscope Geffen A&M, WEA Latina, Universal, Slip N Slide, and Hidden Beach Recordings. 3 ACTS went on to to stardom: Metal Militia Antonia Jenae (Joss Stone band), Lauren Jelencovich (Yanni) and Flexx (Music Producer - Lil Wayne)
Honored on stage, along with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, with the "Spirit of Sweet Auburn Legends, Heroes, & Heroines" Award.
Recognized as a Nominee for the Living Legacy Award by the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, Inc.
The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity Excellence and Research selected me as the "60th Anniversary National Dialog presenter:" a guest speaker during the tribute dinner of the 60th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. I was chosen to speak after Carolyn Maull (McKinstry) - the '5th little girl' in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when white supremacists bombed the church, killing her four young friends. Also a featured guest speaker: Honorary Black Doll Brotha Danny Strong, an Emmy award winning actor and writer who co-Created Fox TV series Empire and wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed 2013 film "The Butler" starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
Received the Certificate of Appreciation by St. Jude's Children's Research.
With Nancy Pelosi as special guest speaker and honoring the women of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), because she was Identified as a "Champion Addressing Issues of Interests to Black Women and Girls", Mama Doll received an invitation to a dinner in Washington, DC., which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Sojourner Truth Legacy Project. In Mama Doll's absence her DC Ambassadolls represented bhuetifully.
Along with former WSB-TV Anchor Woman Monica Kaufman Pearson and other well-known philanthropists and socialites in Atlanta, I was nominated and became a Founding Board Member on Susan G. Komen of Atlanta's "Sisters of Promise" Board. Sisters of Promise is fundraising and development board formed to bring awareness to the alarming breast cancer rates among black women.
TV/DVDs Presented by People Magazine and Time, Inc., as first seen on ABC Prime Time Live Special, "The Black Dolls" are featured on The Story of The Royals - a 4-hour television event examining the evolution of the British Royal Family and how the very first bi-racial American, Meghan Markle, changed the face of the British Monarchy. Available on Amazon and wherever DVDs are sold. - Reporter - Deco Drive Fox Miami
Radio Experience ESPN Sports Radio Anchor - "Chicks on Radio" Show.
Tom Joyner Morning Show: Mama Doll's interview was so popular, Tom made it a rerun while away on his annual TJMS cruise benefiting his Foundation.
- Director of Marketing & Publicity for NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino - Owner /Operator of Hill Girl, Inc. Marketing & PR Firm, Boca Raton - Times Square Billboard Spokesmodel Stunt - Founded The Black Doll Affair out of my kitchen and brought on some of Hollywood's biggest names from diversity influencers such asHonorary Black Doll April Reign who created the influential hashtag #oscarssowhite to icons of Civil Rights Movements such as Linda & Cheryl Brown of Brown vs. Board of Education.
-Named "Most Likely to give Oprah a Run for Her Money" by my college peers. -Founded The Black Doll Affair - a self-esteem movement supported by the worlds largest toy maker and dept store: Mattel and Macy's -The Black Doll Affair receives Congressional Recognition by Congressman John Lewis.
-Proclamation of Black Doll Affair Day by Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall & Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue.
Pictured: The Black Dolls as seen on page 87 in Oprah Magazine
-To secure The Black Dolls' place in pop culture, Mama Doll created The Black Doll Affair "Magazine Experiences" program. Magazine Experiences was created to for The Black Dolls, unlikely models, to appear in top magazines such as Oprah, Essence, Vogue and more!
- The Black Doll Affair is the largest consumer group of toy black dolls, specifically Barbie dolls. Hence, our sponsorship/partnership with Mattel, Inc.
- With 40 New Dolls, 7 new body types, 11 skin tones and 28 new hairstyles, before rolling out their all new "Barbie Fashionistas" line - the most diverse and inclusive line in the history of the Barbie doll - Mattel requested a screen-time meeting with my team and I. They wanted feedback on the line before roll-out and consulted with us on changes we desired. I loved the new line! Finally, our consumer influence gave us a seat at the table. What I didn't see in the screen-meeting was a doll with an Afro. The darkest doll in the new line had silky straight hair. I challenged Mattel to give that doll an Afro or create another with an Afro. One season after the Barbie® Fashionistas line was available in retail stores, Barbie Fashionistas Tropi-Cutie Doll #59 was presented to the world. That doll has become the most donated doll to The Black Doll Affair and, therefore, one of Mattel's highest selling African American dolls. Due to their popularity at the retail level, today, the African American Fashionista Barbie dolls are being rolled out with braids and locks and afro puffs . . . oh my!
- Mattel consults with me/The Black Doll Affair for celebratory festivities for Barbie 60th Anniversary, then gives The Black Doll Affair permissions to host 60th Anniversary birthday party for Barbie across USA.
- Mattel gives The Black Doll Affair permissions to host 60th Anniversary birthday party and fashion for Barbie in Atlanta, Georgia.
-Mattel gives The Black Doll Affair permissions to host 60th Anniversary birthday party and fashion for Barbie in Atlanta, Georgia.
Across the nation, in 2011 Macy's Department stores Celebrated Eunice Johnson / The Ebony Fashion Show. I loved the idea so much, in each city where there was a Black Doll Affair and a Macy's, we promoted the event. Our online influence around the nation garnered the attention of William Hawthorne, Macy's Senior Vice President at the time. Seeing and being impressed by my team's online promotion, via a partnership in diversity, he invited The Black Doll Affair for a seat at the Macy's table.
The Atlanta Publicity Stunt That Started My Career:
After graduating from college with a Broadcasting & Journalism Degree (1997); to set herself apart from millions of recent graduates, Dana created a picket-style sign that read:"Student Loans Due Show Me the Money" - (Jerry Maguire 96'), and paired that sign with a black business suit and a stack of resumes. She then asked friends and family to make several phone calls to local news stations. Alerting news rooms of my first-ever marketing & publicity stunt and suggesting they send their cameras to the scene, by the time news crews arrived a Health South executive leaving her office for lunch had made me an offer for an entry level position at 30K a year. She took it!
Philanthropic Partnerships Secured: Atlanta Mission: My Sister's House, Atlanta Community Food Bank. Auburn Glenn Apartments, Black Gives Back, Books for Africa Department of Family & Children Services, Great Heights Foster Care, Habitat For Humanity, the Nicholas House, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The Mad Housers, and Together We Rise. Additional Helpful Links: