Classic children’s characters earn another meaning: Everyday situations and acts of racial prejudice lead psychology student to create a line of black dolls



Note from BW of Brazil: The scream is getting louder: WHERE ARE THE BLACK DOLLS? And it’s not just the issue of the lack of black dolls. As I have documented for more than five years, Afro-Brazilians are under-represented if not flat out invisible in many areas of Brazilian society. And what’s really twisted about this is that Brazil maintains this un-written stance of excluding African descendants altogether or in extremely small numbers in numerous areas all the while claiming to represent “diversity” and “racial harmony”. Decades ago the vast majority of black Brazilians either didn’t see it for the lie that it was, or simply went along to get along. But there’s no way to find the facts anymore. It is the reason people believe that a black woman cannot represent Brazilian beauty. Or why people lash out at the black girl. Or why people rejected the Carnaval poster girl. Or the reason why some people are passed over for jobs. No, this is far more than just black dolls. It simply re-affirms something that should be obvious to black populations arund the world: If you want something that represents you, you MUST do it yourself!


Anti-racism attitude: classic children’s characters earn another meaning

By Taiane Kussler

Chapolim, Pequena Sereia (Little Mermaid), Pinocchio and other classic characters of the children’s universe. Inspired by everyday situations and acts of racial prejudice, the student of Psychology, Liliane Regini Lemos de Oliveira Moraes, saw through an innovative humanist project an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. A gaúcha (native of the state of Rio Grande do Sul), born in (state capital of) Porto Alegre, started making black cloth dolls from cartoons, film and television stories. By giving ‘wings’ to her creativity and imagination, she has embarked on this idea and now is reconciling her studies with the making of toys.


The project titled Maraia’s Bonecas de Pano (Cloth Dolls), came out in honor of one of Liliane’s nieces, Maraia, 14, who went through an episode of racism at school during her childhood. It was at this moment that the young woman put into practice the handmade gifts she had learned in a course of cooking and sewing since the age of 13.


The work is a form that the student found to reach the população negra (black population) and reveal the representativeness they have in society. A way of overcoming taboos and racial prejudice, which she sees through the eyes of children who have access to children’s characters like Pinocchio, Ariel, a Pequena Sereia (The Little Mermaid), Boneca de Lata (Tin Doll), Mágico de Oz (Wizard of Oz), among many others.

There is no better way to combat racism and racial discrimination than the spread of love and affection, the sense of equality from the earliest years of life, said the student to Gaúcha ZH.


To follow the creativity of this work, click here and go to the Facebook page of Maraia’s Pano Dolls. Get to know this work now!

Liliane is competing for the Troféu Luiza Helena Bairros (award), from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), which annually awards personalities and entities that stand out in promoting racial equality and strengthening affirmative action policies. The recognition is bringing good results, the student already has orders for Portugal and more than 20 models scheduled to be delivered in Brasilia.

Source: Tudo e Todas

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. Great! Just wonderful to read such inspiring story. We need to stop waiting and take the initiative and create our own. plain and simple.

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