MadameNoire Featured Video

Brooke Hart Jones of Dallas, Texas, exemplifies Black girl magic and Black excellence with her 18-inch HBCYoU Dolls. The proud Hampton University alum’s inspiration to produce these dolls stemmed from their nonexistence.

“I was looking for an HBCU doll to give someone during the pandemic and couldn’t find it,” she shared with WFAA. “And I was shocked and was like, ‘surely, these exist?'”

But they didn’t. Caught in the COVID-19 pandemic furlough storm, Jones embarked on a new business venture and birthed HBCYoU Dolls, a toy company that inspires and educates Black girls.

HBCYoU Dolls demonstrate to young girls of color the prospect of achieving greatness and assuming seemingly unattainable leadership roles in a world and nation lacking representation.

These dolls also advocate for the beauty, magic and legacy of HBCUs, giving children a sense of cultural familiarity.

“It is the opportunity to plant the seed of higher learning… teach about HBCUs,” Brooke said. “They see themselves for what they can be, what they can achieve, what they can become.”

There are 11 HBCYoU Dolls, all with different hair textures, skin tones, hobbies and majors. For example, the doll “Autumn” is a majorette at her HBCU and an honors business student who dreams of running her own fashion company.

The doll “Alyssa” is a cheer captain and a physics major at her HBCU, who used her cheer skills and physics expertise to lead “her cheer team to become the top performers in their state.”

“They all have positions of leadership,” Brooke said. “They all have unique backgrounds.”

Brooke would handcraft the dolls while her husband packaged them to mail to customers. And they did this until Purpose Toys, a toy company founded by Deedee Wright-Ward that supports Black toy companies, approached her.

Ultimately, the two formed a partnership, and Brooke found her HBCYoU dolls being sold in major retail stores, from Target and Sam’s Club to Walmart and Amazon.

Brooke gave customers a variety of options. Customers can purchase dolls that attend an HBCU but not a specific one. The dolls tied to specific HBCUs, like FAMU (go rattlers) and Spelman, are available for purchase and great for those who want to continue the generational legacy.

Target’s website sells all the dolls, including the school-branded ones, while Walmart and Sam’s Club only sell a few. 

The schools available are Spelman, FAMU, Hampton, Clark Atlanta, Tuskegee and Morehouse.

HBCYoU teddy bears are also available for purchase and are great for young boys.


Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN