Jennifer Pierre, a graduate student at Babson College in Massachusetts, is on a mission to diversify toys. She recently launched a new line of dolls called “Melanites,” targeting boys of color.
The line includes four characters who have different general interests. “I didn’t want to put any ideas into the minds of young children about what they needed to do when they grow up,” Pierre told For Harriet. “I didn’t to say ‘Oh, you have to be a lawyer’ or ‘You have to be a doctor’. I really wanted it to be broad enough…I really am a proponent of the idea of having different parts of yourself so someone could be a thinker and a doer or a thinker and a performer. Like you don’t have to be one [type of] person.”
There was some who weren’t completely on board with the idea. “I think one of the most memorable push-backs I had was in the very beginning when I pitched the idea…One of the questions I got was ‘Why brown boyhood and not all boyhood?’ And of course this is related to Black Lives Matter v. All Lives Matter, but that’s something that pushed me harder.”