Virginia College students donated more than 300 black dolls this Christmas

This Christmas, a generous group of black college girls personally donated over 300 black dolls to young girls in Virginia in the hopes of boosting self-esteem and demonstrating positive portrayal.

As reported by Hello america, The Annual Black Baby Doll Drive was organized by a group of students from Mary Baldwin University, a private university in Staunton, Virginia. This annual tradition has been carried out successfully over the past 25 years. Each year, students, mostly freshmen and all of whom live on the Ida B. Wells Living Learning Community campus, collect dolls from faculty and staff on campus and from the community.

“I hope the girls we give these baby dolls to will understand that their power is limitless,” said Caitlyn russell, 19, freshman at Mary Baldwin University. “I want them to be able to see that they have the power to do whatever they want.”

Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott, the university’s diversity manager, oversees the dynamism of the local community. Through her leadership and the generosity of the students, the goal and purpose of the campaign is to help young girls see themselves reflected in the dolls and, therefore, recognize how beautiful and powerful they are.

“We know there is a clear link between the achievement gap and self-esteem, especially for black girls,” said Cornett-Scott. “And often African American girls have self-image issues because they don’t see a lot of images of themselves in the media, and often they have trouble knowing if they are beautiful or no.”

“We wanted to make sure we had a program that spoke about their outer and inner beauty, so we decided to do the doll project so that they could see themselves in the dolls they play with,” she said. added.

As training approaches each year, students learn about what are known as “doll tests,” a series of experiments designed and conducted by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark in the 1940s to test racial perceptions of children and study the psychological effects of segregation on Africans. American children.

The Supreme Court cited the results of the studies in its 1954 case decision Brown v. Board of Education, which led to the desegregation of schools in the United States.

For Cornett-Scott, the use of “doll tests” ultimately demonstrates to students that the importance of black dolls transcends them as mere toys. It’s the performance that counts.

Teaira Jordan, a 20-year-old sophomore, shared that she had regained her self-esteem by participating in the doll drive.

“When you look at dolls and give these young girls dolls and say, ‘Your black is beautiful, your features are beautiful,’ you have to make sure that you yourself believe in these things,” he said. Jordan said. “So that made me look in the mirror a lot of times reminding me, you know what, my lips are beautiful, even though they’re fuller.” My nose is beautiful, even if it is bigger.

She continued, “When I was a child, my black doll had white features. So to see that there are black women who go the extra mile and make dolls that have bigger noses, bigger lips, and rounder faces, it’s just inspiring, and I wish I had that in growing.

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