Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Black Doll in the White House!

I recently received an email from a friend about some of the difficulties the new 1st family will face, particularly Michelle Obama. The piece suggested that Michelle breaks many of the stereotypes of African American women and that finally "There will now be a black doll in the Whitehouse...." While its author may have meant that Michelle was a "black doll" it made me think---I wonder if there has not already been a black doll in the white house? A real doll, one made of ceramic or composite.

When Noelle (our daughter) was in kindergarten our children's choir was painting ceramic angels as gifts for parents to hang on family Christmas trees in very white households.

When Noelle had finished her painting --- I stood awe struck. One side of the angel was a cherubic white child with red hair (Noelle had red hair) The opposite side was painted a deep chocolate brown with black hair.

Some might have thought this schizophrenic, but I realized what a wonderful metaphor it was. Angels come in the colors of the rainbow! One of the parishioner had a beautiful handmade black raggedy Ann made for Noelle when she was a toddler! Francis explained the important role that an African American woman had played in her early childhood, and she believed Noelle needed at least one African American playmate!

I quickly heard from many other mothers that their children also had "multi-racial" dolls! No one ever accosted me in anger to comment on this fact.....maybe they were too stunned. My hope for my daughter was that she would grow up -- not unaware of color--- but appreciating the many varieties of color that God made us! And that some day skin color would have no more effect than hair color or freckles on what we thought of people we met!

All of that to say, maybe there has already been a black doll in the White House -- paving the way for the beautiful real, live, Michelle Obama!