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Virtual Tour

Dolls Imitating Humans

If you ever watched children playing with dolls or recall yourself playing with them, you can see how the topic, Dolls Imitating Humans relates.  Doll makers and owners of dolls make them do human things like walking, talking, eating, and the list goes on and on.  Dolls are made in the likenesses of people and how they look and what they do take them closer to human characteristics.  The Black Footprints’ Collection has over 2,000 Black Dolls with sections called Diversity in the Family and The Melting Pot which introduces other races and ethnic groups.  Regardless of the fact that dolls are not human, they sure play the part.

Now, journey with us to discover just how true the preceding statement can be. Follow the links below to begin the virtual tour.

Recreation and Sports

(The Black Footprints’ Collection has dolls acting in the categories below)

Hiking, Swimming, Boxing, Playtime, Skating, Bicycle Riding, Motorcycle Riding, Swinging, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Buggy Riding, Horse Back Riding, Dancing

Family Members

(The Black Footprints’ Collection has dolls acting in the categories below)

Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces, Nephews, Stepparents, Adoptive Parents

Health Issues

(The Black Footprints’ Collection has dolls bringing attention to these health issues.)

Physically Challenged Illnesses, HIV AIDS Victim, Amputee, Surgery, Blindness, Injuries, Cancer Awareness/Survival, Broken Bones, Weight Issues, Brain Tumor, Skin Grafts, Bowed Legs, Sleep Disorders, Hair Problems, Allergies


(The Black Footprints’ Collection has dolls demonstrating these descriptions.)

Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Friendliness, Caring, Fear, Relaxed, Shy, Loneliness, Timeout, Cheerful

Celebrations and Holidays

(The Black Footprints’ Collection has dolls showing these occurrences.)

Easter, Thanksgiving, Formal Balls, Dr. MLK Jr. Holiday, Worship Service, Kwanzaa, Rites of Passage, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Family Reunions, Weddings, Voter Registration, Orations, Underground Railroad, Fraternal Organizations

Life Roles

(The Black Footprints’ Collection shows dolls in these situations.)

Chores, Skillful, Education, Good Sport, Proud, Patriotic, Obedient, Cooperative, Work/Play, Family, Eat/Sleep, Wellness, Hygiene, Communicate

Stereotypical Images

(This section of the Black Footprints’ Doll Collection consists of “Pick-a-nin-ny” dolls or caricatures)

Black Face, Watermelon Eating, Over Weight/Wearing Aprons, Big Lips, Red Lips, Absence of Shoes, Holes in Clothing, Disheveled Hair, Bulging Eyes, Wild Facial Expressions

Melting Pot

The phrase, “Give me Your Huddled Masses” really comes alive in an exhibit and presentation that show a mixing bowl of dolls from America and around the world. This extraordinary group gives an exquisite and unique look at how dolls are genuinely imitating humans. The dolls are featured in their Native Dress which makes for an educational experience.


(This section of the Black Footprints’ Doll Collection demonstrates the features below.)

Shades of Skin Color, Hairstyles, Play Clothes, Aggressive Behavior, Body Size, Body Shape, Saggy Pants, Height, Weight, Sleepwear, Formal Dress, Work Clothes

Black Inventors and their Inventions – Black Scientists and their Discoveries


Black Inventions and Discoveries is a mini exhibit of the Black Footprints’ Collection. Inventions by African Americans often were borne out of a necessity.  Emanating from being enslaved, Blacks came up with inventions that helped to make working easier, inventions that dealt with cooking and inventions that preserved health. Inventions for leisure activities were also patented, but on a smaller scale. There are also African Americans who have pioneered and are still dedicated to their passions and are working in laboratories in various scientific arenas.  Then, as now, many discoveries are being made. The Black Footprints’

Inventions and Discoveries Collection has over 250 items in its mini exhibit, but only a selected few are listed here.  Note:  Some of the inventions in the Black Footprints’ Collection are facsimiles of the originals; others have undergone little or no modifications and remain as the true patented item. The gathering of the items is purely for teaching purposes to bring awareness of the contributions of African Americans.

Work Related Inventions

Curtain Rod and Holder, Lubricating Can, Clothes Pins, Ironing Board Sarah Boone; Inventor, Refrigerator, Clothes Dryer, Ironing Board, Casket Lowering Machine, Aluminum Foil Cutter, Lawn Sprinkler, Hole Puncher, Folding Bed, Microphone-James Black; Inventor

Health Related Inventions/Discoveries

Medicine Organizer, Shoe Stitching Machine, Bullet Proof Cages for Banks, Shoe Arch Support, Eye Patch, Blood Discoveries, False Teeth for Teaching-William Montague Cobb; Inventor, Human Eye Discoveries-Dr. Patricia Bath; Discoverer, Knee Brace, Gas Mask-Garrett Morgan, Urinalysis Machine, Disposable Syringe, Blood Plasma Bank Founder-Dr. Charles R. Drew

Inventions and Discoveries Associated with Cooking

Refrigerator, Meat Tenderizer Mallet-Lloyd Augustus Hall; Inventor, Cutting Board, Sifter, Ice Cream Scoop, Cookie Cutter, Grits Grinder, Dough Kneader, Margarine, Rolling Pin, Sweet Potato Products-George Washington Carver, Cheese Slicer, Spatula

Inventions associated with Leisure Activities

These inventions are fewer in nature because very few African Americans had the luxury of so-called “leisure time.”  A great majority of time was spent in trying to eat well for self and prepare food for others, and trying to keep healthy in order to be strong enough to perform work duties.

Spinning Top-Paul Brown, Hammock, Golf Tee, Fishing Rod, Photo Embossing Machine, 3-D Viewing Glasses, Picnic Table, Super Soaker, Rocking Horse, Shower Bath Spray, Wooden Toys, Baby Buggy, Sled Propeller

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Man Himself:  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a section in the Black Footprints’ Collection.  Some items for exhibit and presentations are:  Dr. King’s speeches, posters, paintings, sculptures, banners, display boards, magazine articles, books, stamps and games. Some examples from the Black Footprints’ Collection are listed here.






Artifacts and Memorabilia

Artifacts and Memorabilia are a significant part of the Black Footprints’ Collection. These items are for exhibits and oral presentations.  This section comprises of calendars, post cards, scrapbook biographies, collages, stamps, Kings and Queens of Africa posters, poems (audio and visual), clothing items such as t-shirts, and jewelry, slave bill of sale, manumission papers, and pickinnie art items. Featured here are a few items that are featured in this section.