Gordon Parks, Dr. Kenneth B. Clark conducting the Doll Test, Harlem, New York, 1947
In the “doll test,” psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark used four plastic, diaper-clad dolls, identical except for color. They showed the dolls to black children between the ages of three and seven and asked them questions to determine racial perception and preference. Almost all of the children readily identified the race of the dolls. However, when asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it. The Clarks also gave the children outline drawings of a boy and girl and asked them to color the figures the same color as themselves. Many of the children with dark complexions colored the figures with a white or yellow crayon. The Clarks concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. This photograph was taken by Gordon Parks for a 1947 issue of Ebony magazine. (via)
I thought this was very interesting to find because this was just talked about in my WMNS 201 class last week. There was an activity where in groups we had to come up (can me made up) with a racially neutral toy. In class discussion we brought up which race of dolls was preferred the most and everyone agreed that white dolls were the better choice. I however brought up American dolls and how I would choose Addy (the African American doll) because of the simple fact that she looked like me- color wise.
Is this the media’s fault, that we choose the white doll over the others?
When you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.
Mitch Albom (For One More Day)
In my WMNS 201 class my teacher showed us several videos (Shit Black Girls Say; Shit White Girls Say) pertaining to stereotypes and double standards. I seen one or two of those videos before and thought they were funny. However when I saw it for a second time in class I actually paid attention to detail and listened to what they said and thought some of the things said in the videos were offensive.
The media show certain races acting a certain way, which makes viewers think everyone of that race acts that way which is not true. Take Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop for example. Most of the cast is African American and these women are loud, arguing, jumping across tables, and throwing wine bottles at people. I myself is African American and in no way shape or form act anything like the cast. Essentially what I am trying to say is that not everyone acts the same and it is hard to change the mind of those who watch such shows and think we do.