Lowcountry Doll Collection Inspires Unity

For Mattie P. Sanders, every doll tells a story…all 2,000 of them. The dolls are a part of an exhibit titled “Black Footprints: Blacks Past and Present.”  The expo is meant to provide positive role models and build self-esteem among visitors young and old.

The dolls are arranged to imitate humans. They are mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and adoptive parents. Some have health issues or display feelings.

All of this is done through her non-profit, B. R. I. G. H. T. Historical Organization. B. R. I. G. H. T. stands for “Blacks Righting Injustices and Gaining High Triumphs.”

She hopes the exhibit will draw parents and children and spark conversations about race, family, character and more.

Black doll collection (and more) soon on display at Maritime Center

More than 2,000 dolls will fill two levels at the Charleston Maritime Center for a four-day expo organized by the nonprofit B.R.I.G.H.T. Historical Organization. The expo, called “Black Footprints: Blacks Past and Present,” is meant to provide positive role models and build self-esteem among visitors young and old.

The collection of dolls will be arranged in ways that mimic human experiences. Collector Mattie P. Sanders, a 74-year-old West Ashley resident, is the force behind the event. Her colleague, Dorothy Jenkins, president of B.R.I.G.H.T. and member of Emanuel AME Church, arranged for the church to provide funding. The project fits well with Mother Emanuel’s youth outreach efforts, Jenkins said.

Unique Doll Collection Makes An Impact

By Dan Brown

The Independent

When Mattie Sanders started collecting dolls more than 25 years ago she wanted to tell a story.

“I wanted to give kids a sense of respect,” said the retired Berkeley Middle School guidance counselor. “I would see kids so ashamed of who they were or where they came from …

“I wanted to do something that could reach out to just one child and tell them, yes you are special and yes you can be proud of who you are.”