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A Doll for Racial Equality

written by: kinderellad
I found this story while researching information for other quizzes. It is a long forgotten chapter of civil rights history. I had never heard this story before and thought about how hard things were for people before civil rights were laws. It is a heartwarming story that tells how a few people can work together for equality to make things better for their children and tear down some racial barriers. I decided to share this with you in a quiz for black history month.

Question 1:

Sara Lee Creech moved to Belle Glades, Florida in the 1940's. She and others in town formed a local organization for improvement in racial relations in a very segregated world. What was her occupation in Belle Glades?
She was a maid.
She was the mayor of the town.
She ran a small luncheonette.
She owned a florist shop.

Question 2:

Ms. Sara Lee Creech met Edna Fuller, who had organized Florida's first Inter-racial Council in Orlando. After hearing Ms. Fuller's speech in Orlando, the Belle Glades local organization decided to form Florida's second Inter-national Council. Which of these were not part of their missions?
To persuade Palm Beach County School Board to build an elementary school for the black community
To start a day care center for farm worker's children.
To fight for integration of schools
To gain trust with the black and white community for the Council by having 15 white members and 15 black members in the council with equal votes

Question 3:

Eight months after the first meeting of the Inter-racial Council, Ms. Sara Lee Creech had an epiphany. She was walking out of the Post Office and saw two little African-American girls playing with dolls in the backseat of a car. What disturbed her about that situation?
The car was purple.
The children were playing with white dolls.
The children were dressed in rags.
The children were left alone in the car.

Question 4:

At the second meeting of the Inter-racial Council, Ms. Sara Lee Creech asked some of the black parents why they would want their children to play with white dolls. What was the parents' answer?
All of these
The only black baby dolls were white dolls that had defects and were taken off the production line and painted black.
There were no acceptable black dolls available.
The only black dolls in the stores were racial parodies of slave women and children.

Question 5:

Ms. Sara Lee Creech believed that giving a black child a white doll that they could not relate to was bad for their self-esteem. What did she do?  (place mouse pointer over ? icon to view hints or answer requirements)
She called a socially prominent friend to help her find support for making suitable black dolls.
She called a toy manufacturer to tell them about the idea of making suitable black dolls.
She started making pretty black dolls that looked like black children and passed them out to the community.
She told black parents that she was sorry and couldn't change it.

Question 6:

Ms. Sara Lee Creech got in touch with the sculptress, Sheila Burlingame, who had sculpted the figurine "Negro Boy Praying" for the St. Louis Headquaters of the Urban League. Ms. Burlingame was very enthusiastic about creating a black doll and was ready to start. What did she ask for to help her sculpt the dolls so they would be anthropologically accurate?
hair samples and facial photos of the children
5 boys and 5 girls to model for her
money to come to Belle Glades to work with the children there
photos of black children and the head measurements of different aged children

Question 7:

Sculptress Sheila Burlington made 4 black dolls, a little miss dress up doll, an infant doll, a sister doll and a _____ doll.  (place mouse pointer over ? icon to view hints or answer requirements)

Question 8:

Ms. Sara Creech began studying the history of black dolls and the message that was sent to the children by these types of dolls. What information did she gather to justify issuing a patent for the Sara Lee doll?
Results from tests conducted with dolls and children. Black children said that black dolls were dirty and white dolls were pretty and black dolls were bad and white dolls were good.
Research from sociologist Kenneth Clark whose findings helped lead to the landmark decision to integrate schools
Research which showed that racial prejudices were transmitted through toys and games
All of these

Question 9:

Ms. Sara Lee Creech was seeking support for the creation of the Sara Lee doll and was invited to a reception where she met Zora Neale Hurston, the author of "Their Eyes Were Watching God". Who was this reception being held for?
The Inter-racial Council of New York
Eleanor Roosevelt
The sculptress, Sheila Burlingame
Sara Lee Creech

Question 10:

A friendship bloomed between Ms. Sara Creech and author Nora Hurston. Ms. Hurston came to Belle Glades to help with the creation of the Sara Lee doll. She was invited to stay at Ms. Creech's house but declined. Why?
Ms. Creech was white and Ms. Hurston was black. Ms. Hurston didn't want her friend to face repercussions for letting a black woman stay at her house and treating her as an equal.
Ms. Creech's house was in bad condition.
Ms. Creech was black and Ms. Hurston was white.
Ms. Hurston did not want to stay in a black person's house.

She was afraid of the part of town Ms. Creech lived in.

Question 11:

Ms. Sara Lee Creech had difficulty in finding a manufacturer for her doll, so she asked author-anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston for her help. Ms. Hurston contacted some very influential friends to solicit letters of support. Which person on the list was not contacted?
Martin Luther King III
The President of Atlanta University
The President of Morehouse College
The Director of the Department of United Nations

Question 12:

What store contacted Mrs. Sara Lee Creech in 1950 and invited her to a meeting?
FAO Schwarz
Montgomery Ward
Sears & Roebucks

Question 13:

The Sears manager contacted Ideal Toy Company in relation to Sara Lee Creech's idea of creating a black doll. Although the president of Ideal, Mr Clark was ready to start the production, the board wasn't sure but agreed to a meeting with Ms. Creech. What happened before their meeting?
Both of these
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited major black and white leaders to consult about the appropriate skin color of the doll.
Neither of these
Newsweek and Life ran lead stories about the doll and all the support people had for it.

Question 14:

Ideal Toy Company started manufacturing the Sara Lee doll to get it on store shelves in time for what season?
Christmas 1952
Easter 1952
Fourth of July 1952
Thanksgiving 1952

Question 15:

Who named the Sara Lee doll after her creator, Sara Lee Creech?  (place mouse pointer over ? icon to view hints or answer requirements)
Eleanor Roosevelt
Sara Lee Creech
Kenneth Clark, president of Ideal Toy Company
Zora Hurston, Ms. Creech's closest friend

Question 16:

The 17-18" doll, Sara Lee, was dressed in a yellow lacy dress with a bonnet on her head. She had molded and painted hair and looked just like a beautiful African-American infant.

Question 17:

Ms Sara Lee Creech received a crate of Sara Lee dolls before they went to the stores. What did she do with them?
She gave them to the people who supported her while she was getting these dolls made and marketed.
She donated them to the day care center the Inter-racial Council had started.
She gave them to her family.
She took them to Lake Shore Elementary School, the school she had lobbied for with the Inter-racial Council.

Question 18:

When the doll, Sara Lee, was put in the stores, what school board system ordered several hundred and made her the official doll of the state school board?
New York

Question 19:

What year and why did Ideal Toy Company quit manufacturing the doll Sara Lee?  (place mouse pointer over ? icon to view hints or answer requirements)
1957 - More African-American dolls were being manufactured and the Sara Lee doll lost its popularity.
1953 - Ms. Creech was told that salesmen did not have the time to explain the social significance of the doll. To sell something, you had to believe in it.
1955 - Integration of schools caused more racial tension and the stores would not sell the doll.
1954 - Ideal had no incentive to market the doll after the initial publicity. Directors of the company considered the doll a marketing gimmick.

Question 20:

What did Ms. Sara Lee Creech do when the Sara Lee doll failed?
She went back to her florist shop and continued the many friendships she had made with the supporters of the baby doll, Sara Lee.
She had to go back to Belle Glades and go on with her life there.
All of these
She became deeply involved with the Inter-racial Council and began new projects and worked with the projects already in operation.


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