Black Girl Struggles Pt. 2

“Nana, can I get this doll?” I asked my Grandmother as we were walking around the Dollar Store.

Her face quickly frowned as she looked down at the white baby doll in my hand. “They don’t have any black dolls?” She asked with eagerness as she went to the toy section to find her black granddaughter a baby doll that looked like her. 

Some would have thought nothing of it, but I’m glad my Nana did. 

I didn’t get a baby doll that day. 

 

This or something like this is a story some black children have encountered.

This is the issue of representation.

 

I remember looking through magazines, tv shows, and my computer seeing the beautiful white girls across everything you could think of. Every now & then you would see the one black girl at the end for all of two seconds. There were only white baby dolls until the year 1967, yet after 2001 it was still a struggle to find one. This issue goes far beyond toys and tv screens. Our kids look through their history books and only learn about one black President throughout our 241 years of independence. 

 

Now, we have dolls with curly hair and chocolate brown skin. We have black women as titleholders for some of the top pageants in the country. The Miss University of Georgia for 2019, Brianna Hayes is a black girl from South Georgia who is now vying to be UGA’s first black student body president. Auburn University just elected the first black student body president who is also a member of the first sorority for African American women, Alpha Kappa Alpha Fraternity Inc.

 

Then there is me.

Taylor Troup, a first-year student at the first all women’s college and Perdominatly White Institute in the United States. I am a titleholder in the Miss Black USA pageant system made by black women for black women. My reasoning for attending a PWI and being an active contributor on my campus goes far beyond a resume. This is for the little black girl like myself who struggled to find someone or something that looked like her, who thought she could be nothing more than a little black girl, and the little black girl who just wanted a baby doll.