In a story about the history of black dolls, Samantha Knowles ’12 tells Collectors Weekly that, as a child, she never wondered why her dolls were black. But friends in her upstate New York hometown did. One of them, Knowles tells the online magazine, asked her, “Why do you have black dolls?”
As an undergraduate film student at Dartmouth, Knowles found some answers to that question. She connected with a group of black doll collectors, Collectors Weekly writes, and for her honors thesis completed a documentary called Why Do You Have Black Dolls?
Now a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, Knowles says her mother sometimes had to place special orders or stand in line at stores to procure black dolls for her two daughters.
“We didn’t have exclusively black dolls, but we had mostly black dolls. After I started working on the film, I had a lot of conversations with my mom, and she would say, ‘Oh, you don’t know what I had to go through to get some of those dolls.’ ”
Read the full story, published 2/22/13 on Collectors Weekly.