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TNCP Review (8) Part 1, reviews the lack of Black dolls and toys for Black children in Michigan

By TNCP Review

In episode 8 of the TNCP Review, publisher and show host, Rina Risper, has a discussion with co-host, Nova Wallace, about the importance of having Black dolls available for Black children. More importantly, Black boys need Black doll role models too.

Sandra Epps is the creator of the Detroit Doll Show, an inspirational author, artist and professional face and body painter. She established Sandy's Land in 2005 with the self-publishing of her first children's book, "Imani Has The Most Exciting Dream!" which introduces young readers to the power of affirmation and gently explains lupus to a child.

Sandy's Land LLC is an entertainment service where the mission is to "Party with a Purpose."

After three near deaths experiences due to lupus, Ms. Epps decided to make a full career of inspiring women and girls to the "Love the Skin They're In!"

Sandy's and LLC conducts art parties, sells inspirational books, accessories, apparel and host the Detroit Doll Show.

After surviving three near-death experiences due to lupus, the negative effect it had on Sandra’s self esteem inspired her to make a full-time career of encouraging women and girls of color to “Love the Skin They’re In!”

According to Mayo Clinic, Lupus is a disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs (autoimmune disease). Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.

She never wanted another girl to experience the discomfort and lack of self love that she had endured after losing her hair, ballooning up to nearly two hundred pounds at 4’11 and being confined to a wheel-chair twice. She was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 14.

"Doll play has many personal benefits. It helps children to develop social and motor skills. They learn to become more empathetic, " explained Ms. Epps. "Studies show that when children have dolls that look like them that increases a child’s feeling of self-worth. The Detroit Doll Show has become a family affair that includes granddads and granddaughters, mothers with daughters and sons, parents with biracial children, white adoptive parents with black children, and doll collectors of every hue."

Every year during the Holiday, CVS on McNichols and Wyoming in Detroit, MI 48221 in a majority black neighborhood, the store proceeds to shelve 80 percent white dolls.

In 2021, Ms. Epps spoke with management about this problem, and she was told that it was an upper management decision. She realized this issue was the same with Sam’s Club where more than 75percent of their shoppers at the Eight Mile, Southfield MI 48033 store are African American, and they typically never have dolls of color, however. As a doll collector and host of the Detroit Doll Show, Ms. Epps is privy to more doll resources because she does her research to find dolls of color.


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