HBCyoU Dolls

Photographs are courtesy of Telisa Spain.

Name:  HBCyoU Dolls

Made by and When:  Designed by Brooke Hart Jones, manufactured by Purpose Toys; 2022

Material:  Soft, all-vinyl in complexion ranges from light to dark

Height: 18 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Rooted curly 3C to 4C textured hair, inset brown eyes, closed mouths

Clothes:

Alyssa is a cheer captain dressed in an HBCyoU-logo’d purple and white cheer captain uniform, white sneakers, and silver pom-poms.

Tuskegee Cheer Captain Alyssa wears a TU-logo’d red and white with gold trimmed cheer captain uniform, white sneakers, and gold pom-poms.

Homecoming Queen Nicole wears a full-length shimmery white gown with a removable HBCyoU sash, a tiara, and white heels.

Hope Student Body President wears a removable varsity jacket, HBCyoU T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

Other: Brooke Hart Jones, a Hampton University graduate and HBCU* alum, created this line of dolls to teach children about *Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to give children a sense of cultural familiarity. The dolls’ complexions and hair textures are designed to reflect the range of hair textures and complexions of African Americans. The Alyssa dolls have 3C hair and medium complexions. Homecoming Queen Nicole has the deepest complexion and 3C hair. Student Body President Hope has the lightest complexion with 4C hair.

During the Jim Crow period in the United States, African Americans were prohibited from attending all-white colleges and universities, particularly in the South. Historically Black Colleges and Universities such as Hampton University, Tuskegee University (formerly Tuskegee Institute), Morehouse College (a private all-male college whose cheer team is made up of Spelman College students), and others were “established in the United States early in the 19th century to provide undergraduate and graduate level educational opportunities to people of African descent. Black students were unwelcome at existing public and private institutions of higher education, even after the passing of specific legislation, resulting in a lack of higher education opportunities” (Thurgood Marshall College Fund) and the compelling need to establish their own institutions of higher learning.

Gallery

Photographs are courtesy of Telisa Spain.

Reference:

Thurgood Marshall College Fund History of HBCUs

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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