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AfriGeneas Heritage Arts & Crafts Forum

A Passion for doll making

A passion for doll making

Doll making is a passion that once sent Strickland over the edge. As a little girl, she recalls being taunted by a boy who poked fun of her bottle doll. “I didn’t like it so I kicked him hard in the head,” said Strickland, demonstrating the force she used.

Strickland takes pride in creating a doll and gets joy from the satisfaction it brings to customers. After giving a 93-year-old woman one of her dolls the woman “cried like a baby, because it looked like her.”

Bottle dolls aren’t new. They’ve been around for decades. “Women over 50 should know what a Coca Cola bottle doll is,” said Strickland, who started making the dolls when she was around six years old.

“My mother used to say, ‘If you ever want to quiet Beth down, give her a doll.’ But whenever they brought me a doll, it was always a white doll,” Strickland says.

Today her doll collection is mostly African American. “They look like us,” she said. “There was a time we didn’t have dolls looking like us. I make white dolls too, but I specialize in black dolls.”

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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