Khayelitsha, South Africa. Photo by Busi Dalingozi
Donations from East Los Angeles College students
Handmade creations made by Dollies Without Borders
Babies & Books Project
Donate Children's Literature, Infant Black Dolls & Art Supplies
At eKhaya eKasi Center in Khayelitsha township, Art Aids Art has become aware of the urgent need for multicultural literature and black dolls. Books are prohibitively expensive in South Africa, and in schools the selection is frequently limited to dated texts in the Afrikaans language. In child care centers, dramatic play areas typically feature only White dolls. The same can be said of the toy department in retail stores.
The late author Walter Dean Myers noted, “Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? ... Where are black children going to get a sense of who they are and what they can be?” (The New York Times Sunday Review - March 15, 2014). One could apply the same thinking to representation among playthings such as dolls.
In response, Art Aids Art has conducted Babies and Books collections since 2003, assembling picture books and infant Black dolls and shipping them to Cape Town. A portion are added to our Literacy Library at eKhaya eKasi Center -- the largest multicultural township children's library in the Western Cape -- while others are distributed to local child care programs.
Our latest collection has a December 31 deadline, and we invite donors to email us
to arrange a pick up or determine the best way to transport your donation.
To view suggested book titles, please view the lists below and click on the links.
We are particularly requesting infant dolls given their capacity to encourage nurturing. For cultural reasons, please do not donate Barbies or Bratz.
Recommended Children's Books -- Our Wish Lists:
- African-American Picture Books
- Coretta Scott King Award Winners
- Powerful African-American Images Revealed In Picture Books, Parts 1 & 2
- African-American Voices in Children's Fiction
- Walter Dean Myers
- Virginia Hamilton
- Rachel Isadora
- Mary Hoffman
- Patricia Polacco
- Eloise Greenfield
- Faith Ringgold
- Leo and Diane Dillon
- Brian Pinkney
- Jerry Pinkney
- Muriel and Tom Feelings
- Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
- John Steptoe
- Arnold Adoff
Recommended Art Supplies (used or new)
- Markers (especially washable)
- Colored Pencils