I had thought with the absence of the word Wogg, that controversy surrounding these adorable stuffed dolls had come to an end. I recently posted some of my dolls on my Etsy store and was promptly slapped on the wrist and accused of being Racist, my listings were all removed. Oh my, I am in no way a racist!! I was stunned that there was still this stigma attached to this adorable fictional character. In my eyes he is no more offensive to colored people than Raggedy Anne is to white people. Who knew!! I will continue to love my Golly collection as I see them for what they are, an adorable cartoon, fictional being with a big smile and a bigger heart!
I love Etsy as a venue for selling my antique and vintage treasures, and am saddened that I cannot include my cute dolls, but I now have them available for sale on here.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Golly dolls, here is a bit of history from Wikipedia.
The golliwog, golliwogg or golly is a fictional character created by Florence Kate Upton that appears in children’s books in the late 19th century and usually depicted as a type of rag doll. It was reproduced, both by commercial and hobby toy-makers as a children’s toy called the “golliwog”, and had great popularity in the UK and Australia into the 1970s. The doll is characterised by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, red lips and frizzy hair. Though home-made golliwogs were sometimes female, the golliwog was generally male. For this reason, in the period following World War II, the golliwog was seen, along with the teddy bear, as a suitable soft toy for a young boy.
The image of the doll has become the subject of controversy. Whilst some people see the doll as an innocuous toy, it is considered as racist, along with pickaninnies, minstrels, mammy figures, and other caricatures of black Africans. The golliwog has been described by the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia as “the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States”. In recent years, changing political attitudes with regard to race have reduced the popularity and sales of golliwogs as toys. Manufacturers who have used golliwogs as a motif (e.g. Robertson’s Marmalade in the UK) have either withdrawn them as an icon, or changed the name. In particular, the association of the golliwog with the pejorative term “wog” has resulted in use of alternative names such as “golly” and “golly doll”.
British jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons used a golliwog called Golly as its mascot from 1910, after John Robertson apparently saw children playing with golliwog dolls in the United States. Robertson’s started producing promotional Golly badges in the 1920s, which could be obtained in exchange for tokens gained from their products. In 1983, the company’s products were boycotted by the Greater London Council as offensive, and in 1988 the character ceased to be used in television advertising. The company used to give away golliwog badges and small plaster figures playing musical instruments (jazz musicians) or sports and other such themes. The Gollywog badge collection scheme was withdrawn in 2001.