This paper will discuss the dolls of Dr. Annie Henry. The paper will give a detailed report on how these dolls are used to represent the struggles that women undergo in order to achieve self representation. There are several black personalities who will be symbolized by these dolls. These women have been chosen because of their ability to inspire the other women and also men.
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Dr Annie Henry collected dolls that represented African Americans who were famous. “The example of the dolls that she collected was the ones representing Harriet Tubman, Dr. George Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holland, Mathew Henson and others.” (Derek, 2006).
“The symbolism of these dolls can be used to explain the struggles of the black women.”(Johnson, 2001).Her marriage was full of drama and she argued with her Husband. “She was as witty woman and she participated in beauty pageants.” (Strong, 1969). The dolls are used to “show how the black women fought for self representation and the achievement of equity.” (Sterling, 1970).
“Dr Annie Henry collection of dolls implies the struggle that women undergo in their fight to attain equality and to be heard.”(Weir, 2004).The doll representing Harriet Tubman was among that was added to her collection of dolls. “This was a woman who was highly regarded by the black Americans.”(Schofield, 2008). She was a woman who lived during the slavery period.” (Parker, 2005).She is famed for guiding other slaves to freedom. “She was active in the women’s suffrage movement until illness overtook her and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African-Americans she had helped open years earlier.”(MacCulloch, 2005).
The symbolism that Anne uses is because this woman is regarded as Moses due to her ability to help the fellow black Americans gain their freedom. “This is compared to the story of Moses in the Bible.” (Conrad, 1942). She was a brave woman. “She also carried a revolver, and was not afraid to use it. Once a slave agreed to join her expedition, there was no turning back and she threatened to shoot anyone who tried to return.”(Clinton, 2004).
The reason that Tubman is represented in the dolls is her sacrifices. “Tubman became the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War.” (Anderson,2005). She was very “concerned about the plight of women and she said that she had never seen people cause a stampede like they had caused in their way to freedom.”(Gourse, 1998). “She wanted all black people to be free and she also aspired to see women liberated.” (Bradford, 1971). The women she hoped would have the same rights as men.
The other doll is used to represent Ella Fitzgerald. “She was a black woman who was a musician.” (Gourse, 1998). She used her jazz music to spread the idea of women empowerment. She is used to symbolize the “women artistes who courageously use their talents to empower their fellow women”. She struggled even when she was sick to make her life better. “She is a good representation of a woman who is struggling to achieve self representation”. (Johnson, 2001).
This paper has discussed the dolls of Dr. Annie Henry and how these dolls are used symbolically to explain the theme of the achievement of self representation and equity amongst black women. The two great women are discussed in this paper and how they contributed to the achievement of this goal.
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Gourse, L. (1998). The Ella Fitzgerald Companion. London: Omnibus Press.
Gourse, L. (1998). The Ella Fitzgerald Companion: Seven Decades of Commentary. New York: Music Sales.
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Johnson, J. (2001) Ella Fitzgerald: A Complete Annotated Discography. New York: McFarland & Co Inc.
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