First there was the golliwog, then there was black Barbie. Now the creators of a new talking doll say that after 140 years of racism and negative stereotyping, toys for black children have finally come of age with a doll that helps them to learn their roots.
"Rooti" dolls claim to be the first fashion dolls to speak languages from countries ranging from Ghana to Zimbabwe and are designed to help the western children of African parents to stay in touch with their African heritage.
"The idea of Rooti dolls is to create that early interest in our children in their own culture, an appreciation of where they come from, and to improve their self-esteem," said Chris Chidi Ngoforo, founder of UK-based Rooti Creations, which makes the dolls. “My three daughters love dolls that look and dress like them.
I wish I had a curly-haired doll like this as a little girl.