College Student Develops Toy Line for Black Boys to Challenge Myths of Boyhood
BY SHAUNDRA SELVAGGI | ATLANTA BLACKSTAR
The Melanites is a collection of four 18-inch, poseable dolls, each named for an inspirational personality trait: Thinker, Doer, Maker, and Performer. The dolls have a variation of skin tones, hair textures and facial features to represent “society’s changing multicultural demographic.”
Jennifer Pierre, entrepreneur and Babson College graduate student, was inspired by her years of volunteer and mentorship work with young boys of color.
“I have seen firsthand the way many of the boys maneuvered through life, and it put into perspective how different society cultivates children based on race and gender,” her website, brownboyhood.com reads.
Melanites is a toy company expanding the breadth of representation available in the toy industry simultaneously through diversity and gender. We are launching the first line of boy dolls of color with multicultural backgrounds. This social innovation venture is a celebration of brown boyhood!
I created Melanites to intercept the glass ceiling placed on young boys’ mind about what they can be when they grow up and how they are supposed to express themselves without the pressures of hyper-masculinity. BROWN BOYHOOD
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