Photographs courtesy of Betty Ativie
Name: Delite Negro Girl
Made by and When: Pedigree/1950s
Material: Hard Plastic (cellulose acetate)
Marks: Neck is marked Pedigree England.
Back is marked Made in England.
Speaker in the back is marked 16 T.
Height: 16 inches tall
Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Black short astrakhan wig/flirty sleep eyes with attached eyelashes/closed mouth with pronounced lips
Clothes: Redressed in a reproduction white cotton dress of another era with white lace slip and pantaloons, bare feet; the straw hat is trimmed in lace and accented with five bows.
Other: This doll’s facial features are heavily defined with chubby cheeks and very full lips. Sometimes referred to as a “walkie-talkie” because of the ma-ma voice box and the head-turning walker feature, the doll’s head turns from side to side when the legs are moved in the walking position. This also activates the flirty eye (left-to-right) movement. During the 1950s and prior, Pedigree used very deep coloring for the dolls that represented people of African descent. The racial identifier “Negro” was used during this time to label Black people. This deep color was not as widely used in the United States for Black dolls unless they were derogatory caricatures of Black people. The antiquated terms Negro and even Colored as racial identifiers were used to describe people and dolls in the states during this time.
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