Black dollmakers struggle to meet market demands for diverse toys

London, England

British entrepreneur Jodi Vernon never intended to become a toy maker. But after the birth of her daughter Clarke, she struggled to find black dolls that represented her family in toy stores filled with white-skinned, blue-eyed figures.

The last straw came when she walked into a thrift store in London and was presented with a golliwog doll – a 19th century caricature inspired by black-faced minstrels that has long been considered racist.

“I just wanted something that I could put in the buggy that represented her,” Ms. Vernon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a video call from her workshop and home in Brixton, south London.

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