It Used to Be Impossible to Find Black Dolls in Stores, So People Made Them at Home

Before the 20th century, manufactured black dolls were virtually non-existent. In the 1930s, they were still tough to find in major cities. For decades, if black American parents wanted their children to have black dolls, the only way was to make them. Today, these dolls are treasured examples of American folk art.

Deborah Neff has been buying these dolls from flea markets, auctions, high-end antique shows, and dealers for decades. Her collection is the best in the world. The book, Black...

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