Thursday, Oct. 01, 2009

Racist Golliwogs

Golliwog dolls — named after a blackface minstrel-like character in Florence Kate Upton and Bertha Upton's 1895 book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg — were enormously popular in England and elsewhere in the first half of the 20th century but fell out of fashion, for obvious reasons, starting in the civil rights era of the 1960s. The offensive figurines came roaring back into the public eye in February, however, when a shop on the Queen of England's estate was found to be selling them. They were quickly taken off the shelves, but more "gollies" surfaced in another English shop in May. "We sold out of them last time," explained the store manager. "A lot of people had them in their childhood and now want them for their grandchildren." Some things are better left in the past.