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Golly Doll

Period:
19th Century
Description:

The golly doll is a racist, anti-Black caricature created by British_maeircan author Florence Kate Upton during the onset of the Jim Crow laws, which mandated racial segregation in the American South. The dolls are clothed to resemble black-faced minstrels that were widespread throughout North America and Europe, and had dehumanising features such as thick lips, unruly kinky hair and paws for hands and feet. These features are consistent with the 19th snd 20th century tendency to represent black people through the destructive model of biological racism. The image of the doll was used commonly in advertisements and in commercial use, such as Robertson's preserves.

 

The dolls were intended a children's toys, and provided children with an early socialisation into the adult world of race relation. However the doll was more than a toy; it reinforced offensive societal opinion and normalised these beliefs.

 

Future Museum displays this object with the hope that by recognising the racist history that proliferates the past, we may help to bring about a more thoughtful and aware future.

Source:
The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
EATOY064n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council