Too often, out young black and brown boys don’t see themselves reflected in toys. More often than not, they are represented in a negative light. Demetrius “Lil Dee” Davis, CEO and co-founder of Our Brown Boy Joy is on a mission to change that narrative. Davis’ doll company is celebrating Brown boy joy with a goal of inspiring and motivating, changing the narrative.
“I want brown boys everywhere to know just how special they are,” the eight-year-old entrepreneur said in a recent interview. “My subscription boxes and character line will allow boys to have items that directly represent them. I know when I go into the store, nothing looks like me or represents me – this is a problem.”
Luciana Gilmore echoed the sentiment of her son in the same interview saying, “People need to know they have joy too, but like most, joy can turn to anger. I want people to smile when they see the doll.”
After having “the talk,” the mother/son duo started Our Brown Boy Joy in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd and the limited access to positive representation among dolls for Black boys. Gilmore, a former educator with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, who once taught Tamir Rice, said to Cleveland.com that they wanted to find “a new way to tackle growing racial tensions in the United States.”
She continued stressing that she and her son hope the dolls help to bring about needed change. “I wanted him, [Davis], to understand that this is not just a Black man issue, but it extends to boys your age. We talked about Rice, who was one of my students.”
The dolls, who are named, “My Friend,” wear white hoodies and Timberland boots, paying homage to Trayvon Martin. Each doll is also available in different skin colors and have several additional outfits to choose from.
Are you still looking for a gift to bring a little #brownboyjoy into someone’s life this year? Well, we think that you found it! For more information on this incredible new doll or to shop, click here!