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Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom teamed up with the following toymakers to create a list of top African-American dolls. We received dolls for the review and to donate to Family Resources’ Therapeutic  Parents and Children’s Center. This post includes some affiliate links.

Dear Diary,

When I was a little girl, my father braved the bitter cold and stood in line for hours to purchase an African American Cabbage Patch Kid named Dickie, which coincidentally was my dad’s nickname. Dickie wasn’t my first doll from Babyland General Hospital, but he was the first one who had coppery brown skin and crinkly hair like me. He looked like he was a part of my family. Therefore, he was special. So much so, my grandmother made him leather overalls with a matching jacket–an outfit I later fought over when a little girl threw him down in the snow. I took Dickie everywhere. And when I was too old to play with him, I still packed him in my suitcase for college. And he headed to Kentucky on my career path as a television reporter. Decades later, I yearn to give my daughter that same experience.  I want her to look at a doll and see herself smiling back. Unlike my dad’s day, I don’t have to search a gazillion store to find dolls whose skin tones range between radiant yellows, coppery browns and midnight blues. I just logged online and found 12 pretty brown dolls for my pretty brown girl.


Why We Love Her:

To me, Lena’s whimsical look illustrates what childhood should be. She’s fresh and fun, and best of all for mom, easy to clean.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find the screen printed doll on Amazon.


Why We Love Her:

Nyesha was born and bred and Harlem and has a heart to give back to her community. A portion of her proceeds benefit World Vision and fight childhood hunger. We love the Hearts for Hearts Girls, and this latest edition is hip, fun and fashionable. My daughter loves the cute accessories and trendy attire.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find the collection on Amazon.


Why We Love Her:

Zair’s flair caught my eye instantly. Then, I read her backstory about being an artist who earns straight A’s in school. Like every World of EPI doll, Zair represents positive statements, such as I am proud, I am smart, or I am beautiful, which helps shape my daughter’s self-esteem.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find the collection at the World of EPI.


Why We Love Her:

For all the old school moms who still watch Coming to America over and over, you’ll sing She’s Your Queen when you see Amahle in person. This striking South African has a handcrafted face and rhinestone earrings, making her one of the most regal dolls you’ll find online. Your child can also go on an adventure through the wild with the companion book.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find Amahle and other multicultural dolls at Global Girls.

Black Raggedy Ann

Why We Love Her:

Who doesn’t love Raggedy Ann? This ethnic version is classic and cute. She’s light enough for your little one to carry on her own, and small enough to throw in your diaper bag in case your child gets tired.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find this doll and other shades at Patty Cake Doll.


Why We Love Her:

She is colorful, adorable and soft. This is the best travel companion! My daughter cuddles with the super soft doll and falls asleep instantly in the car.

Where to Buy Her:

You can find Zoe on Amazon.


Why We Love Him:

We love dolls based on books, especially classics I grew up reading. Peter and The Snowy Day are the perfect bedtime combination. The character brings the book to life and later puts your little one to sleep, since it’s soft and fluffy.

Where to Buy Him:

You can find Peter on Amazon.

Scroll Down and Click Page 2 to See the Complete List.

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About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

2 Responses

  1. Elle

    Very cute dolls. This year I purchased my girls a doll for the first time. I had really hoped to buy one for them sooner, but there were no dolls in the store that looked like my girls so I just waited until I found the perfect one.


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