Meet Nancy

This is my doll Nancy. She doesn’t live with me any more but I see her on visits home to my parents. She’s not far off forty years old. Today when a child is given a gift, their siblings most probably get the same  – to promote equity and avoid conflict. For an easy life. Not so in Nancy’s day. She was all mine, the only black doll in the family and coveted by the others. And because the normal pram candy for any little girl was a blonde haired blue eyed Caucasian Nancy turned heads wherever we went. I would perch her in the seat of my mother’s shopping trolley and fall about laughing when locals would enquire after our ‘lovely black baby’. Back then, there were church collections for them so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to think we’d saved a soul from Africa. Only Nancy came from the Caribbean. From Trinidad. From an aunt on the missions. A communion gift I think. I pierced her ears myself and the missing eyelashes were the result of an unauthorised visit to my  little sister’s beauty parlour. I know it involved nail varnish over the eyelids and lips. Most came off. It could have been a lot worse.


Looking good on three decades and more



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