Local firm showcases 'black and beautiful' Kamala dolls

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Local firm showcases 'black and beautiful' Kamala dolls

BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Parents seeking a doll for their children could find one which commemorates the historic occasion of the United States (US) getting its first female vice-president, who also happens to have Jamaican roots.

Vice-President Kamala Harris broke the barrier yesterday that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath to hold the nation's second-highest office.

To mark the historic occasion an exhibition of Kamala Harris dolls was displayed at Liguanea Plaza in St Andrew.

The exhibition was staged by Island Dolls Plus Collections and principal of the company Beverley Robotham-Reynolds was overjoyed on the history-making day.

“I want to share the dolls with Jamaica and I also want to share it with our children. Her dad is a Jamaican so we have to embrace our Jamaican sister. We should emphasise the importance of her achievements as she is so passionate, so dedicated and of course she is our own,” Robotham-Reynolds told the Jamaica Observer as she pointed to the dolls which are being sold for a low of $3,000 and a high of $7,000.

Robotham-Reynolds noted that two of the dolls are dressed in a replica of the white pantsuit worn by Harris during her first speech as vice-president-elect in November.

“It is important to the black population in the US as it represents unity, and white suits have been worn by many people who have been elected to higher offices, such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,” said Robotham-Reynolds.

She noted that the large production usually done by Island Dolls for cultural events and school projects across the island and exports to Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua and Bermuda has been halted because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We have had a setback as we use to do quite a bit of exporting, but the pandemic has dwindled the exports a lot and also locally. I am hoping we will get back on our feet,” said Robotham-Reynolds who plans to do a virtual display of the dolls in schools at the primary level in February, which is recognised as Black History Month.

“I want to teach the children that 'I am black, I am beautiful and I can try and do anything that I want to do'. The little ones need to know the meaning of 'let me be black' as some of them are so scared of being black. I will also be giving away hand tags with her achievements,” said Robotham-Reynolds who has produce several cultural, Afrocentric dolls as creative tools for helping children embrace black pride.


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