BBS Review: Keisha Cane Doll + GIVEAWAY

by Christina Brown

keisha-cane-doll-packaging Growing up in the 80's, there were very few options for girls who looked like me to see ourselves reflected on the shelves at our favorite toy stores. There was the occasional black Barbie doll and a Cabbage Patch doll here and there, but doll options have always been limited for young black girls. Even more than doll options, children's books and stories featuring main characters who are multicultural have also been limited. That's what drew me to the story behind Keisha Cane & Her Very Sweet Tooth.

One random Friday night, I was scrolling through Facebook when a fellow alumnus of my alma mater (UPENN) had created a post about this very special Indiegogo campaign for the Keisha Cane & Her Very Sweet Tooth book to turn into a doll. I'd never heard of Keisha Cane but I did see that the creators of this incredible initiative were a sister duo out of Memphis named Ashley and April Foxx and that Ashley was a fellow alumnus of my alma mater as well. I'm always huge on supporting fellow UPENN Quakers so instead of continuing to scroll, I clicked on the link to their Indiegogo campaign and was immediately compelled to support. babybrownsugar-keisha-cane-doll Not only was the Keisha Cane doll prototype amazingly adorable but I love what their entire backstory represents. Here's what co-creator Ashley Foxx had to tell me about her story:

"I am an author, educator and artist. I've taught kindergarten, first, and third at Memphis College Prep in the heart of downtown Memphis. I now currently serve as its principal. I fell in love with literacy, particularly in picture books, while working in the classroom. While teaching, however, I found that it was often difficult to find books that featured African-American characters in my school's curriculum. So, my sister and I decided to launch Kifani, Inc., a start-up company based in Memphis, and focus on publishing quality works of children's literature."

Their very first project, Keisha Cane and Her Very Sweet Tooth took off! They raised over $8,000 on Kickstarter to publish their book and were featured in Glamour Magazine and on Black Enterprise.com, Essence.com and Clutch.com. All across the country they found that consumers want diversity on their book shelves and down the toy aisles! We just have to demand it. babybrownsugar-keisha-cane Little black girls need and deserve to see characters and images, whether it's in mass media or in the toy stores, that represent them and encourage them to embrace who they are and what they look like. keisha-cane-book I'm sure we can all remember being young and struggling with image identity whether it was wanting longer hair or wanting to be taller or "more beautiful". Every girl, no matter the shape or size or color, struggles with her physical identity and self-confidence at some point in time. keisha-cane-book-review Imagine the impact and the affirmation that having more diverse dolls and characters in general will have on these young girls. Campaigns to create more diversity on the toy shelves and bookshelves will ALWAYS get my support. Click here for my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide highlighting other must-have books that encourage diversity. keisha-cane-doll-set Because Cadence and I love the Keisha Cane Doll & Gift Book Set so much, we've partnered up with toy distributor Well-Made Toy Manufacturing Corp to give away one Keisha Cane book & doll gift set! 3 Steps For GIVEAWAY Entry: BabyBrownSugarGiveAway
  1. 'Like' the Well-Made Toy Facebook page so you can get the scoop on Keisha Cane™ updates
  2. 'Like' this post on the Well-Made Toy Facebook page and tell them about your family's reading time together. What's your child's favorite reading time ritual?
  3. Follow BabyBrownSugar on Facebook!

Good luck to all who enter. We will be selecting the winner on Friday, May 1st at 5:00 pm EST so make sure to enter before them.

Did you struggle to find dolls who looked like you growing up? Feel free to share your stories in the comments section below.