Golly Doll

The golly doll is a racist, anti-black caricature creared by British-American author Florence Kate Uptonduring 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 thick lips, unruly kinky hair, and paws for hands and feet. These features are consistent with the 19th and 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 as children's toys, and provided children with an early socialisation into the adult world of race relations. However, the doll was more than a toy; it reinforced offensive societal opinions and normalised these beliefs.    Future Museum displays this object with the hope that by recognising the racism history that proliferates the past, we may help to bring about a more thoughtful and aware future. 
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East Ayrshire Council
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