The Black Doll Affair Celebrates 10 Years With a Local Doll!
Local Celebrity, Radio Personality, Doll Collector and Philanthropist Wanda Smith, Boards The Black Doll Affair this Christmas Season!
It all started back in 2007, when Dana "Mama Doll" Hill, Founder of The Black Doll Affair, (BDA) witnessed Kiri Davis' "A Girl Like Me" documentary. In that video that landed on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Mama Doll witnessed one black child after the next choosing the black doll as bad, ugly and least preferred. To change the way black girls are perceived and, more importantly, perceive themselves, Mama Doll threw what was supposed to be a one-time Christmas party attended by black women who arrived in T-shirts that stated in bold letters: "Black Doll." After speaking with the children about the beauty and the downside of being born a "Black Doll", these women gave each child a gift - a black Barbie doll. Barbie was a symbol to remind them of their intrinsic beauty, the importance of behaving like a doll and the magic of self-esteem. BDA refers to the act of women buying a T-shirt to become a Doll and giving away toy black dolls as "Be a Doll, give a doll".
Today, there are Black Doll Affair members all over the world. Famous people that support BDA include: Black Barbie, Cheryl Brown (Brown vs. Board), Gabrielle Union, Misty Copeland, Danny Strong and Taye Diggs, to name a few. After receiving President Barack Obama's Presidential Service Award for acting dolling in their communities, Congressional Recognition by Congressman John Lewis, and having (former) Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Georgia Congressman Nan Orrock, (former) Georgia House of Representatives Margaret Kaiser, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and Honorary Black Doll Queen, proclaim December 12th as "Black Doll Affair Day" in Georgia, BDA will turn ten years old Saturday, December 17, 2017. Before that historic moment in time, on Saturday December 2, 2017, The Black Dolls (BDA members) will do as they have for almost ten years, partner with Macy's & Mattel to deliver black Barbies to little girls all over the country.
Each year, to counteract the effects of low self-esteem in young black girls and put black Barbies under the Christmas tree, Mama Doll comes up with a theme, a hashtag in sync with the theme and 'public appearance gear' for the living Black Dolls to wear to tie in the theme. Then, she partners with the world's largest toy maker, Mattel, the world's largest department store, Macy's and the members of The Black Doll Affair. This year will be no different. What will be different however, is that the focus will be on fighting againstlow self-esteem AND povertylevels that prevent children in low-income households from receiving a toy or two at Christmas."I abhor seeing our people arrive at success then fail to go back and give back to the people in the 'hoods' from which they came. On the eve of BDA's tenth anniversary, I can look at every corner of this country, from Hawaii to Miami, Minnesota to Texas, Washington State to Maine, and say that in some way, The Black Doll Affair has benefited from people in 'hoods' that helped us do good. I decided that we would go back to the people in our local neighborhoods that helped us get here. In keeping, this year's theme is: i#DollsNthehood. To include girls AND boys, we'll drop off dolls for girls & toys for boys,"said Mama Doll.
Another annual ritual around The Black Doll Affair's Christmas season, is Mama Doll choosing the "Face of The Black Doll Affair" Christmas Giveaway Sleigh. This year, she chose Wanda Smith, (V-103 Atlanta Ryan Cameron Morning Show) beloved on air personality and household name in The Black Doll Affair's "hood" and HQ. Synonymous with good cheer, giving back to the community, and girl power, Wanda is a doll collector and veteran in the realm of community. In addition to the above mentioned reasons Mama Doll chose Wanda, it helped that she's Who’s Who in Black Atlanta Empowered Women’s edition, supporting actress roles in numerous Tyler Perry films and her groundbreaking work with the Heartburn Foundation. But the biggest reason Mama Doll chose Wanda? She's said,"Wanda's not trying to be like everyone else. She's comfortable in her own skin and that's what THIS is ALL about. She reminds me to giggle, is synonymous with laughter and has a big heart. From helping families that lose their way or helping parents and children reconnect, Wanda Smith is a Black Doll. In my research, I learned that Wanda was named 'Atlanta's Happiest Girl' by Atlanta's Good Life Magazine. That sealed it for me. After all, if The Black Doll Affair is going to remind black girls of their beauty. It starts with a smile."
The Black Doll Affair's slogan to join and become a Doll is 'No membership fee...just buy your Black Doll Tee." On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, live on V-103 airwaves at 7:45am, Mama Doll gifted Wanda with her Black Doll T-shirt and a Mattel black doll in her likeness. So it's official, Wanda Smith is a Black Doll!
On Saturday, December 2, 2017, from 1:00pm- 5pmin all time zones, battling against low self-esteem and poverty, dressed in camouflage pants, combat boots, doll hats and their famous Black Doll T-shirts, to fight low self-esteem in children living in poverty, Mama Doll, Wanda and their Atlanta Black Doll sisters will meet at Macy's Greenbriar, then get on buses (Christmas Sleigh) that will take them to a doll & toy delivery at the new Martin Luther King Recreation Center, then to Macy's Dekalb Mall and finally, back to Macy's at Greenbriar Mall for their final doll & toy delivery. Want to join them? Exact doll & toy delivery times are TBA. Meanwhile, to become a Black Doll and participate, get your bus ticket & gear here.
About The Black Doll Affair: BDA is a contemporary response to the historic “Black Doll Experiment” conducted by Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, which produced social science evidence of internalized racism said to have influenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v Board of Education. Diversity partners with The Brown Foundation, Macy’s, Inc., Mattel, Inc. and Taye Diggs' Chocolate Me! & Mixed Me! book brands, The Black Doll Affair [BDA] is a social organization driven by its primary members, The Black Dolls. Secondary members are the Black Doll’s Porcelain Pals (non-black members) and Brothas (male supporters). The Black Doll Affair has grown into 24 states across America and Washington, DC. The Black Dolls range in shade and shape. Eighteen years and older, from college students to grandmothers, career women to ladies of leisure, they are women that band together to tackle the black girl's issues with shadeism, self hatred and low self-esteem. To deliver their message of internal and external beauty, members of the movement donate toy black dolls to toddlers, host self-esteem summits for teens and produce special events that promote and uplift black women. For fun, the Dolls, their Porcelain Pals and Brothas, enjoy each other at social play dates. To express the importance of community service, annually, they donate hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to philanthropic causes that affect all races. These are the Affairs of The Black Dolls. For more information log onto blackdollaffair.com