October 17, 2021


Make Baby Yours

Lots of who defend sale of golliwogs really feel ‘their boy or girl selves have been accused of racism’

Much more than 100 several years following initial showing in an English kid’s reserve, golliwogs keep on being for sale in some Australian merchants.

On Monday, Broadbeach Oasis Information on the Gold Coast had golliwog dolls for sale together with teddy bears, whilst the ABC has not too long ago witnessed comparable dolls at shops in Ashmore, Benowa and Rainbow Beach front.

Personnel at Broadbeach Oasis Information declined to remark.

Indigenous lawyer and Griffith University lecturer Eddie Synot said the dolls perpetuated a “narrative of the inferiority of black people” and it was time Australians engaged in “complicated conversations” about racist representations.

Even with perceptions that golliwogs are racially insensitive, common defences of the doll often deride “woke” lifestyle and political correctness for attacking what is perceived by some to be a harmless children’s toy.

Judy, who questioned not to use her previous identify, operates a popular online shop for golliwog dolls.

“I do not see them as a racist doll. They’re just a doll from childhood,” Judy claimed.

Although the dolls have a nostalgic charm to some, there have been calls for a “tough discussion” to be had about the golliwog’s place in contemporary Australia.

‘Wonderful childhood memories’

The online shop’s Facebook webpage has much more than 27,000 followers and Judy stated most of the comments were generally beneficial.

This ‘Golly doll’ is marketed for $92 at an Australian on the net keep.(

Resource: allthingsgollywog.com.au


A comment from a person named Lynette says that “golliwogs usually make me smile”.

“They bring back this sort of wonderful childhood reminiscences of my quite personal Urka Magurka,” Lynette wrote.

The on the web shop’s internet site says that “the significantly-maligned golliwog was by no means intended to be a image of political incorrectness or racism”.

“The ‘politically correct’ reference is now Golly.”

‘Woke claims require to be challenged’

But Mr Synot, a Wamba Wamba man, said that, for many, “the only place or representation for Indigenous people was in this character”.

“Which actually is a character of Aboriginal persons or of black people all-around the planet, as this aloof, helpful, stereotypical person that appreciates their area,” he stated.

“They were really much the preferred tradition side of what was a extremely critical narrative of the inferiority of black folks and Aboriginal folks.”

He said the accountability for bringing up these discussions has often been “unfairly positioned on the shoulders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and men and women of colour”.

Mr Synot mentioned using the blanket expression of “political correctness” to dismiss criticism needed “to be challenged”.

“But we have to be capable to be ready to have individuals challenging conversations … otherwise it can be incredibly uncomplicated to be siloed into the corners and just attack each other.”

It failed to appear from ‘pure imagination’

In a paper published in the Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues in 2018, Indigenous painter and art historian Dr Donna Leslie analyses the origins of the golliwog and its interpretation as a racist image.

The golliwog very first entered well-liked culture as a character in Florence Kate Upton’s 1895 ebook, The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg.

Illustrated cover of landscape book showing two dark-haired girls, each holding the hand of a gollywog character
The include of Florence Kate Upton’s 1895 guide, ‘The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg’.(

Supply: WikiCommons


When introduced as “a horrid slight! the blackest gnome”, the “Golliwogg” was later presented as a form and playful character.

In accordance Dr Leslie’s paper, “Florence Upton experienced not developed her Golliwog out of pure creativity because, when she was a boy or girl in The united states, she experienced owned a ‘Negro minstrel doll’.”

“It is remarkably offensive in a person feeling and still seemingly benign in an additional,” Dr Leslie wrote.

She created that observation mainly because it could be assumed that Upton savored participating in with the doll despite this kind of game titles involving throwing rubber balls at it.

But study from sociology Professor Dr David Pilgrim, printed by the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, states that “the Golliwog was created for the duration of a racist era”.

Today a vintage postcard showing a pickaninny (small black child) and the text around him would be seen as offensive
Caricatures of pickaninnies (compact black kids) have been common on 1940s’ postcards.(

Provided: www.historyonthenet.com


“He was drawn as a caricature of a minstrel — which by itself represented a demeaning graphic of blacks,” Dr Pilgrim stated.

Professor Pilgrim famous that “racial stereotyping of black persons”, together with banjo taking part in, was “yet another expression of Upton’s racial insensitivity.”

All through the 20th century, the golliwog character was integrated into lots of items, including Arnott’s biscuits, that were afterwards renamed Scalliwaggs before currently being discontinued in the late-1990s.

In 2001, British food manufacturer Robertson’s stopped using golliwogs on it’s labelling, which The Guardian reported as “portion of a broader initiative to contemporise [Robertson’s brand] and make it appeal to modern day family members”.

Guiding the social media debate

Dr Leslie analysed many social media remarks in defence of the golliwog, these kinds of as “The Computer system Brigade are at it yet again”,  “What does it matter no matter whether a toy is black, white, or any other color?” and “Does that signify we want to ban ragdolls as effectively simply because they may well offend white folks?”

Female gollywog doll on the shelf at a newsagency
An additional ‘Golly doll’ on display at Broadbeach Oasis Information.(

ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale


She wrote that “the issue missed” by these feedback, “was that a white ragdoll does not symbolise a racial stereotype manufactured to denigrate a further human remaining or, in truth, an full folks”.

“They had been furious at the imagined that they could be drawn into an interpretation that labelled them racist.”