GROWING UP AS A LITTLE BLACK GIRL (In A Barbie's World)

When I was growing up there were really no black dolls that did not look like buckwheat with lipstick and very nappy hair. Therefore, the popular doll was "Barbie" because even at a young age you know your image and buckwheat wasn't ours. Personally, my curiosity for Barbie stemmed from not having met any "white girls" and I wanted to see the big deal; I was insulted. From that point forward everytime someone bought me a Barbie I painted her brown with an marker and patiently colored her hair black with my dad's shoe polish. WHY? She was no better than me nor any other black woman I knew. Don't get me wrong "I thought she was beautiful" she just needed some adjustments to really look like me.

I wrote to Santa Claus every year and asked that he make Black Barbies. Each year, he didn't; I would get angry and did my adjustments, afterall; what did I really expect from a white Santa. lol. Anyway, I watched a special on the creation of Barbie on LPB; they messed up and gave contact information and I began writing. Santa wasn't on his job. After sending the same letter over the span of twenty years. They finally wrote me back and said that they where coming out soon with a Black Barbie and she was going to be beautiful. Imagine my excitement! Persistents when used properly is an great virtue.

Black Barbie, made her debut in 1980. She sit's in my collector's case with my Indian Barbie. I did not grow up with the delusion I was Barbie; but the doll itself made me seek justice for all the black little girls around the world like myself including my future daughters. We are beautiful and black; therefore, we deserved to be shown in a more beautiful light.

So this is my point: Don't just talk about it; be about it. Whatever the part, be it big or small, we must keep it moving for our daughters and now it begans with us, not a doll.

PFP~2011

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