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Spotlight on France

Black dolls, then and now

Audio 09:55
Black dolls on display at the Maison Rouge in Paris, through 20 May 2018
Black dolls on display at the Maison Rouge in Paris, through 20 May 2018 Marc Domage/Maison Rouge

A exhibition in Paris of historical black dolls from the United States raises the question of black dolls today in France: Where can parents find toys that look like their children, if they are not white? And why does it matter?

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(Click on the photo to listen)

Voices in this piece:

- Carole, author Les Etoiles Noires (The black stars) blog about diversity in children's book

- Mathilda, 10-year-old in Paris, who likes to play with black Barbies

- Nora Philippe, filmmaker, and currator of Black Dolls exhibit at the Maison Rouge (through 20 May 2018)

- Patricia Williams, professor, Columbia Law School, has written about the 'topsy-turvy' dolls in the exhibit

- Elsa Dorlin, philosopy professor, University of Paris 8, specialist in racism and slavery in france

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