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Serena Williams introduces daughter, Olympia, to Black dolls

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Alexis Olympia Ohanian , daughter of celebrated tennis champion Serena Williams, plays with colored doll , it has been revealed.The 15 – month – old baby is seen at her playground with her Black , hairless doll lying face down on the floor.

Serena is a Black American sportswoman married to a White American internet entrepreneur , Alexis Ohanian .

In general , dolls come in mostly White /pink shade ; and in the Slavery Era , children of slaves could only play with dolls the colour of their skin , which was mostly Black .

Historically, an African – American minister and businessman , Richard Henry Boyd, who was born into slavery in the state of Mississippi , founded the National Negro Doll Company in 1911 after he tried to purchase dolls for his children but could find none that were not gross caricatures of African Americans .

The Ohanians and Baby Olympia ’ s Black doll

According to Wiki , American companies began including Black dolls in their doll lines in the early 1900 s . And between 1910 and 1930 , Horsman , Vogue , and Madame Alexander included Black dolls in their doll lines .

Gradually, other American companies followed suit , a Wiki citation says .

Much later , Wiki states, an African American entrepreneur , Beatrice Wright Brewington , founded B . Wright’ s Toy Company , Inc. , and mass- produced Black dolls with ethnically- correct features.

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She also instructed girls in the art of making dolls in 1955 .

To honour the history of Black dolls , in 2012 , three sisters — Debra Britt , Felicia Walker and Tamara Mattison — opened the National Black Doll Museum of History and Culture in Mansfield , Massachusetts .

It features over 6 , 000 Black dolls , with a mission “ to nurture the self – esteem of children and preserve the legacy of Black dolls . ”

Roughly 1 , 000 Black dolls are also on view at the Philadelphia Doll Museum , which was founded by Barbara Whiteman , Wiki says .

Perhaps shedding light on why Olympia ’ s parents , Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian , opted for a coloured doll for their baby , Black doll enthusiast , Debbie Behan Garrett , who also authored Black Dolls : A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating , Collecting , and Experiencing the Passion, says : “ I ’ m emphatic about a black child having a doll that reflects who she is . ”

“ When a young child is playing with a doll , she is mimicking being a mother , and in her young , impressionable years , I want that child to understand that there ’ s nothing wrong with being black.

“ If Black children are force- fed that White is better , or if that ’ s all that they are exposed to , then they might start to think , ‘ What is wrong with me ?’” Garrett added 

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