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dingding asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 1 decade ago

Is it racially offensive to have a pickaninny doll?

It's a little doll with a pretty dress and a scarf on her head, I guess like a little Aunt Jemima. I received it as a gift when I was traveling in the South. At first I felt a little funny about keeping it, but then I read that they were reproductions of dolls that were fondly owned by little southern girls, both black and white. I've kept it as a souvenir of my travels, but my husband dismisses it as a racist symbol. I'm no racist, I just think she's a cute and historic symbol of African-American girls at the turn of the century. Stereotypical, yes, but so are modern dolls like Bratz and G.I. Joe.

Update:

I have her displayed in my office along with a variety of southern souvenirs like an alligator head and a grassbasket full of cotton blooms.

8 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oddly enough, the biggest collectors of racially offensive Black Americana, like your doll, are African-Americans, and some pieces sell in auctions on eBay for a LOT of money, too!

    In any case, no, it's not generically politically incorrect for you to own it, just be sensitive as to how, and where, and to whom, you show it, and you'll be just fine.

  • 6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is it racially offensive to have a pickaninny doll?

    It's a little doll with a pretty dress and a scarf on her head, I guess like a little Aunt Jemima. I received it as a gift when I was traveling in the South. At first I felt a little funny about keeping it, but then I read that they were reproductions of dolls that were fondly owned by little...

    Source(s): racially offensive pickaninny doll: https://shortly.im/OCJzX
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't feel any kind of way about it personally, but then again, I don't really know the full history behind it. If someone gave it to you, someone gave it to you. If it doesn't look like a black-faced Sambo doll, and is not blatantly offensive, I don't see the huge issue with it. Look up the doll's history and if you feel comfortable with it, well then there you have it. Although you may need to be ready to defend it and yourself against people who do find it offensive (your husband).

    I don't really like the term pickaninny though...never really did. If the doll is cute, the doll is cute. Whatever, I wouldn't obsess over it too much.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's racially offensive to burn crosses, but anyone who is offended by Pickaninny dolls, is overreacting

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is racially offensive to use the word pickaninny.

  • 5 years ago

    Pickaninny

  • 1 decade ago

    I have one. I don't call her a pickaninny (not fond of the name) and She has a bonnet instead of a scarf, but if I saw you with one I wouldn't be offended.

    I Could see how someone could be offended but I personally wouldn't

  • 5 years ago

    YES!

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