According to doll historians, the Sara Lee doll resulted from Sara Lee Creech of Belle Glade, Florida, watching two African American little girls playing with light complexioned dolls. Creech realized, that in the early 1950s, the girls played with white dolls because there were no play dolls that resembled African Americans. Creech became determined to provide an "anthropologically correct" doll for black children. She enlisted the well-established Ideal Toy Company to manufacture the dolls, and for the design of the doll, she sought advice from educators, religious leaders, and civic officials from the black community including Mary Bethune Cookman, Ralph Bunche, and Jackie Robinson. She asked for guidance from leaders of the white community too. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt took an interest in the project, observing that the dolls "reproduced well with careful study of the anthropological background of the race [and] a lesson in equality for little children." Though Ideal developed plans to produce Sara Lee's brother and additional dolls in the line, these dolls were never offered commeciallly. In fact, because of disappointing sales, the Sara Lee doll remained on the market for just two years, from 1951 to 1953.
|Manufacturer||Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.|
|Material||vinyl | plastic | synthetic | paint | textile | cotton | elastic | oilcloth | paper | ribbon|
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