Pages

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This article is for those of you who have purchased  the African American Dolls I've made in the past and are wondering why I no longer make this style of doll. 


Etsy has stated that members come from all walks of life and may hold differing opinions of the legitimate collectibility of certain types of historical items. Etsy doesn't allow new versions of certain items connected to sensitive events of history. Because of this, Etsy does not allow new versions of the following types of items:   Mammy  (This was Etsy terminology. I used the description "African American" in my listings).


If any of my followers have wondered why I removed my African American Doll Page from Blogger is because some of my dolls were being pinned in a category called "Slave Dolls" on Pinterest.  This was shocking to find the African American dolls I made in this type of category. Therefore, I felt it necessary to request Pinterest to remove the pins. Many of the African American Dolls I've made were requested orders.


If I receive a request to make one of these dolls, I will need to sale the doll on blogger instead of Etsy. I plan on making African American Dolls, but as not to offend, the dolls will need to be more modern. Please leave feedback on how you feel and what you think concerning these dolls.

African American Doll by Bethann Scott The Stitch Fiddler


6 comments:

Sherri Farley said...



A generation which ignores history has no past: and no future.
- Lazarus Long, from the works of Robert Heinlein

Sherri Farley said...

Bethann,
Your post has given me great concern, as do many things happening in America today. You are an extraordinary doll maker. Your dolls are artistic and finely made. It's obvious you take great pride in your tasteful artist works. I too take great pride in my dolls. On occasion, I make a black American doll. One doll I am particularly proud of is from the famous Hatch collection. Her photo is on my left sidebar, I consider her one of my best works. Black American dolls from the individual doll maker are exquisitely made pieces of black American history and to historians they are treasured pieces of black American art. Most are from the 20's and 30's and have nothing to do with "slave" dolls (very few dolls from the slave era have survived). I follow many doll makers, several make black dolls. Some are even black doll makers, and one makes the traditional Mammy dolls. I have never received a bad comment about my dolls...black or white. I had been considering opening an Etsy shop as an outlet for my dolls. I read all their policies. Instead, I wrote them an e-mail.

It has come to my attention that "new" versions of certain items connected to sensitive events in history are prohibited on Etsy. I was considering opening a shop, but after reviewing your policy I have decided not to do so. I am a historical cloth doll maker and on occasion I make historical reproductions of black American dolls. My dolls are reproductions of famous black dolls, mostly from the Hatch Collection. I take great care to make fine examples of the these fabulous historic black dolls. I am greatly concerned about living in a country where we are afraid we might offend someone. This is another example of political correctness gone amuck. What has happened to "If something offends you.....don't buy it, don't watch it, don't read it?? It's called choice.
A generation which ignores history has no past: and no future.
- Lazarus Long, from the works of Robert Heinlein
A society or government that squelches creativity, ideas or silences dissent is not a democracy. Etsy is bowing to the current winds. If you continue policies such as this, be careful what you wish for. A day may come when you are the receiving end. I have removed Etsy from my favorites, please eliminate me from your site.
Sherri Farley Make Do Dolls
http://littlecabincreations.blogspot.com/

I'm sure they won't care & it grieves me to do so. I buy vintage ribbons, buttons and mohair on Etsy,
but as a proud American I feel compelled to speak up. We have a complex history, some of it is rather shameful, but it's who we are as a country.
George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist. He once said.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

The Stitch Fiddler said...

Dear Sherri, I greatly appreciate your comment and I am sitting here amazed and in awe with a very well said statement.

Thank-you for your post and the letter you wrote to Etsy. I am also considering leaving Etsy since this new policy and just sale my dolls on my own website.

I've enjoyed making African American Dolls and most of the clients that purchased the dolls were African American people. I never made a doll with the intention of offending anyone. I tried to make them delicate and beautiful with lovely clothing. I've also listed them as African American instead of using the terminology that offends such as Mammy. Years ago when I first made these dolls, I did list them as a Mammy doll. Over time I found this term was offensive to some and therefore I listed them as African American. I was thrilled to see these dolls on Pinterest until one day the Male Doll I made with the straw hat showed up in a "Slave Category". Think how I felt when I saw this doll there! I was sick. The boy doll was a custom order and I was asked to make an African American Boy Doll that was a farmer.

There are many African American Doll Makers that make these types of dolls. There is one particular shop in New York that handmake and sale dolls in this style.

My clients have been delighted and I was happy to accommodate orders.





Sherri Farley said...

Bethann, I'm glad you approve. I am at this moment working on a post about this for my blog. Stay tuned. The people that know me personally, know I speak my mind. I have always tried to keep my blog about dolls and my personal opinions to my self, except for the one time I made a scathing comment about having to purchase health care that provides maternity and child care. {I don't have a uterus...I wrote my senators about that!) I eventually removed the post. But this really disturbs me and it's close to my heart!

Sherri Farley said...

Bethann,
I just look at Etsy banned products and I no longer see the mammy doll listed......I know it was there yesterday. What's up with that?

The Stitch Fiddler said...

Yes, I had the doll up for sale on Etsy. It was deactivated by Etsy. They also sent me an email stating to keep the message confidential and refrain from distributing communication.

Blog Archive