About The Journey
288 N. Main St Mansfield, Ma 02048 (774)-284-4729
FOUND: DOLLHOUSE 5,000sq FT.
Doll House: History of Racial Inequity through the eyes of dolls Black Dolls On Loan: Courtesy of Phoebe Fisher
The journey to opening the museum was not a chosen path. It has instead been a walk on a rocky road. Three years after launching the Doll E Daze Project we realized that the next logical step would be to open a museum. We needed to find a home for the dolls and settle down. The wear and tear were beginning to take a toll on our health and the collection.
In 2008 the first Black Doll Collectors Convention was held in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the museum. Awareness was achieved, funds not so much.
We worked with the city of Brockton for the next four years developing a feasibility strategy, and plan to open the doors. Unfortunately, the city of Brockton was unable to unlock any doors or locate an affordable space.
In May of 2012, the stars aligned and a divine intervention occurred. A new owner purchased 288 N. Main St., Debra Britt completed a circle of prayer, Felicia Walker ended a fast, and Laverne Cotton read the prayer of Jabez. The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture had found its home located on the first floor of a mixed-use commercial & residential building. Just less than 5,000 square feet of space was in need of build-out. Floors, walls, and ceilings need to be repaired or replaced. With limited funds, ingenuity, and lots of sweat equity space would be transformed.
All the ceilings were painted black to hide the water stains off a previously damaged roof. In some areas the ceilings are replaced with stockade fence pieces, the floors were sanded and restained. First-time use of a sanding machine and staining technique resulted in the wave patterns of the floors. Water-soaked and rotted wood adorn the walls of the Middle passage, lastly, all of the display cases and seating are/ were created from pallets.
This unique cultural and educational facility pays homage to recycle. It is also the first museum in New England and the second museum in the nation dedicated to preserving the history of black dolls.
There is still much to do and things that need to be replaced however, this space is the hope for those who feel hopeless and courage for those who feel discouraged. Anything is possible.
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