Why This Woman Started a Virtual Black Doll Museum

Debbie Behan-Garrett (WTOP News)

DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum showcases a myriad of vintage, antique, modern, and one-of-a-kind dolls to reclaim the narrative about the historical significance of contemporary Black dolls.

Debbie Behan-Garrett, Black-doll enthusiast and founder of the acclaimed virtual museum, was motivated to counteract the negative messages widely spread about Black people in the South, where she was raised. Growing up, Garrett’s mother didn’t purchase Black dolls for her because they were a vile representation of Black culture at the time, and so she only had white dolls.

Garrett’s journey into motherhood in the late 1970s prompted her to search for Black dolls. She was devoted to showing her daughter the value in one’s self through the image and representation of the Black doll. She began collecting in 1991 and constructed her collection around a doll she purchased for her daughter’s 13th birthday.

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SOURCE: Black Enterprise, Atiya Jordan