Young student's documentary leaving audiences stunned

Kiri Davis is a young filmmaker whose high school documentary has left audiences at film festivals across the country stunned -- and has re-ignited a powerful debate over race.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Mia Johnson's picture
Mia Johnson says:

I think it is totally ok to have black dolls. Everyone is equal! I think it is racist to think it is not ok. What is the difference? I can never understand why people can see the difference!

posted on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 8:09pm
Alexandra Bausch's picture
Alexandra Bausch says:

I think it is fine to have black dolls! I am sorry to say but if you think it is wrong then you are probablly racist!! It shouldn't matter if there is a black or different color doll!

posted on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 8:15pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

To understand this you need to watch the video by clicking on the words in red. The researchers asked children which of two dolls was the good doll, which was the bad doll, and which doll was most like themselves.

posted on Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You missed the entire point of that experiment. The point was not to prove that the black dolls were making the kids feel inferior. They felt inferior, because they had not been exposed to black dolls, and felt that White dolls were prettier, because that is all they were used to seeing. The test proved that it is important to expose children to people and dolls of different races, but, most importantly, that children of all races need toys and cartoon charecters that look like them. My children have a mixture of dolls that are our race, but they also get dolls of every nationality on a regular basis and they are very tolorent of other people, and have high self esteem.
Even though there is a variety of black dolls on the market, the black vs white test results today were not far off from the one taken during the civil rights movement. The reason is because even though many black dolls exist, they never are a main charector, only a side-kick, or clone of the main charector. For example, think about Barbie and Crissy, or the bratz comercials and how the white, blonde dolls CLoe and BArnie, are the main dolls shown in all the ads. Think about how the lighter, hispanic bratz doll, Yasmin outsells the african american bratz, Sasha and Felecia, who have darker skin. Many toy stores only carry the white bratz, and offer Yasmine and Fionna, both fair skinned hispanic dolls, as black dolls, because they know that parents are more prone to buying the lighter dolls, even if their children are darker skinned children.
But in short, there is nothing wrong with playing with dolls of other colors and races as long as you have toys that reflect who you are positively, too.
Also...with dolls of every skin tone and race available today, it would be interesting to see someone conduct the same test with more than just a white doll of one skin tone and black doll of one skin tone. They need to throw in some mulatto dolls, and some hispanic dolls, some dark skin african american dolls, some medium skinned african american dolls, and some asian babies, white dolls of different skin tones and hair colors, etc.

posted on Sun, 10/28/2007 - 6:05pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Thank you.

posted on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 11:32am
Rachel Her's picture
Rachel Her says:

I agree with Alex up there! What's wrong with the color, u rascist???

posted on Thu, 03/01/2007 - 1:04pm
DeAnna_Tigger's picture
DeAnna_Tigger says:

yeah its ok to have BLACK dolls. its just like having an purple,green,yellow,or orange doll. i wouldn't say your rascist but you should open your eyes to different options in the world. would you let your child play with an jewish doll even though it's skin is WHITE it's not. im just saying open your eyes up to bigger and better things!!!!!

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 12:02pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

If you're at the museum and you can't hear the video (link in the original post above), I'll summarize:

In a much-publicized experiment in 1954, psychologist Kenneth Clark offered black children their choice of a white or black doll. An overwhelming majority of the kids chose the white doll. High school filmmaker Kiri Davis repeated the experiment: she asked kids which one they wanted to play with, which one was "nice," which one looked "bad," and which one looked like them. 15 of the 21 kids she filmed picked the white doll. So while things they may have changed, they've also stayed the same. Kids are getting the some of the same racist messages they picked up 50 years ago. *I* don't think black dolls are "bad"--we have some at our house--but what matters is what the children who play with them think!

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 12:30pm
alexandra bausch's picture
alexandra bausch says:

thank you for agreeing with me. to not let your children play with a doll just because it is black is just totally mean and not o.k. i also agree with Mia up there when she says that everybody is equal it is ok if you dont agree because it is your opinoin but still people shouldn't treat other people differently just because they are a different race like with these dolls people dont let there children use them just because they are a different race.


posted on Sun, 04/29/2007 - 6:01pm
Jada Ware's picture
Jada Ware says:

I think the color of the doll does not matter it matter's whether you like playing with the doll there is no need to get racial


posted on Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Being a black woman who loves dolls I think that its the way they protray the dolls. Usually the black dolls are so dark I dont buy them because they look nothing like me. I think that if they had maybe a better variety of black dolls with differnt colors that would be alot better no two black people are the same color some have darker and some have lighter pigments. Like many other African Americans I have never found a doll that really fits me.

posted on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 7:51pm's picture says:

its just the same brainwash tactics to make us feel inferior as usual...thats why all the coloring books for kids have 10 white kids in it, one black and like maybe one asian or give the image white people are doing all the good things in the world..because kids focus of the most prominent group, so white faces dominate dolls, cartoons etc....even i was brainwashed by this same *stuff* as a kid, and thought white people were better and smarter..but i grew out of this brainwash and seen the truth past this tricknology....america makes me sick..why the hell would black people be patriotic? the whole engine of this country is geared to keep us behind..i dont hate white people..i hate ignorant blacks who fall for this trickery..they have made it were we are doing it to ourselves..just listen to the the 80's they tried to outlaw heavy metal because ozzy bit off a bats many kids are really gonna imitate that..but yet they allow gangsta genocide message brainwash rap to be played 24/7 ..and yes young black kids really do try to imitate those values and lifestyles..just look at any black kid age 12 - 17 most likely they listen to garbage like lil wayne..but all the hip hop music with positive messages beyond materialism and drug dealing gets no airplay why..because that would influence young black kids to try to advance legally and with your mind, and usually talk of our mental potential and goes against materialism and violence towards each other..but no..thats not what they play the worst *stuff* to our kids..but ozzy biting off a bats head..outlaw that because the crowd is mostly white kids.."hey that could be a harmful influence to our future young leaders"..lets outlaw ozzy and call him a satanist..but lets let those ignorant gangsta genocide emulators be heard all day long by the blacks...then theyll be more likely to think selling drugs is cool and what to do..and theyll strive for material items without setting goals because the videos they see if you have a cadillac on nice get all the half naked women...its that * ing* simple..

JGordon here: I had to edit this post a little bit for some inappropriate language (all edits are marked by * *), but mr. suzuki's opinion is pretty much intact.

posted on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 10:16am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Nice rant mr. suzuki. I am happy to point out that the United States of America now has shown that we can choose a non-white person as our leader and president.

posted on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 6:42pm

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