Identity Crisis – Angenita Childs

A White woman and her daughter ask me if I thought they should buy a Black doll for a little Black girl they were sponsoring for Christmas. I thought it would be an obvious choice, so I said, “I would.”  I was a little perturbed by the question. Like seriously, in this day and age, should that question have to be asked?

When I was a kid, Black dolls were scarce. I was forced to identify with these blond haired, blue eyed, beautiful White dolls. Just like I was forced to watch shows with brunettes and redheads, and seldom saw a show that featured little girls or women who looked like me. I had an identity crisis: straight hair was beautiful, white skin was beautiful, and I was not. I wanted to be beautiful, too.

So, being a Black girl was rough on me because the message was that I wasn’t beautiful. My name was Angenita and I hated it. My hair was cottony, and I hated it. I was a little chubby, and I hated it.  It seemed like White people had it so much easier, and I wanted my life to be like that. Television showed me that White people were rich and happy. Black people were poor. White women had great husbands, Black women argued with theirs.  We had it rough, until Claire Huxtable came along. She was the first Black wife that I saw that laughed and joked with her husband, and didn’t put him down. She was happy. Her children felt her soothing spirit. She was successful. But, even then, she still had straight hair. Could she have been the same with a natural style? I don’t know.

I just think it’s a shame that I still see our little Black girls dealing with this same issue. But I think it was a blessing that the woman and her daughter thought about it so hard, and had the courage to ask someone about it. That does show some progress. Some people may not care about that sort of thing, but I do. I want my girls to understand that Black is beautiful, and identifying with little women that look like them, gives them that opportunity. And I thank those ladies for caring enough to consider the little girl’s identity when purchasing the toy that many little girls love.


1 comment so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MoLesa Coleman, Lioness Vizions. Lioness Vizions said: Identity Crisis: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: