Among the many companies and individuals creating baby dolls, Ernie K-Doe and the Golden Slipper Club have been making a big splash. These companies are known for their high quality and unique style, and their baby dolls are sure to be a hit with the little ladies. But which one is best for your daughter? Read on to learn more. Whether she wants a classic baby doll or a trendy new creation, these companies offer unique experiences for young girls and adults alike.
Mahogany Blue Baby Dolls
Mahogany Blue Baby Doll ladies are a group of well-dressed friends. They have evocative Baby Doll names and are involved in a variety of community efforts in New Orleans. One example is serving meals to the homeless under the Claiborne Bridge. The group also partners with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the NOLA Blue Doo Run to raise funds for prostate cancer. Oubre was named the Queen of the Lady Rollers Social Aid and Pleasure Club and has lived and worked in the city.
Racial discrimination, legal segregation, and poverty were a part of life for Black Creole women born between 1885 and 1905. These social conditions affected every aspect of Black Creole women’s lives, from literacy to longevity to their ability to accumulate wealth. Many Black girls dropped out of school in the third grade to earn money. They were forced into prostitution or factory work to make ends meet.
Until a few decades ago, the baby doll tradition in New Orleans was thought to be dying out. But today, it is thriving in the black communities of the city, with dozens of groups participating in the Mardi Gras celebration. While the history of the tradition is still murky, the good news is that it has changed dramatically from being negative to positive. In the new film, Dr. Miller interviews some of the Mahogany Baby Dolls to learn about the history of the dolls and the culture behind them. The Mahogany Baby Dolls are professional women, dressed in colorful handmade outfits and displaying dance routines.
Golden Slipper Club
As the popularity of the Baby Doll grew, the members of the “Golden Slipper Club” started to diverge. The group included a wide range of women from diverse backgrounds. Some of the early Baby Dolls were middle-class Black women, while others belonged to groups like the Gold Digger Social and Pleasure Club. The groups also included some famous names in American culture, including Mahalia Jackson and the legendary Baby Doll Singers, who performed in the era.
As the prostitution industry was shut down in New Orleans in the late 1910s, women outside the sex industry began imitating this risque behavior. The Baby Doll masking movement spread throughout the black community of New Orleans, with a particular focus on the neighborhood of Treme. The Golden Slipper Social and Pleasure Club was established by Alma and Walter Batiste. In the 1930s, the group cavorted as part of the “dirty dozen,” wearing women’s clothing and bonnets.
The Baby Dolls began in New Orleans around 1912. The group used profits from the red-light district to compete against other black women. They masked to gain business and spread the word about their clubs. Their costumes were reminiscent of Carnival masks, featuring satin dresses, garters, and bonnets. Despite the challenges that confronted them during the depression, they persevered and achieved greatness.
Ernie K-Doe Baby Dolls
When Antoinette K-Doe opened her Mother-in-Law Lounge on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, she began introducing her customers to the tradition of Baby Dolls. At the time, she assumed she could play with them herself. But her grandmother reminded her that they were grown-ups. She was so impressed with them that she revived the tradition and made them even more popular.
The Ernie K-Doe Baby Doll eponymous company has a history of charitable work. The dolls were pallbearers for late singer Lloyd Washington. He was the last member of the legendary Ink Spots. The family had limited funds, so the Baby Dolls performed as pallbearers. In fact, Miss Antoinette kept Lloyd’s ashes in her lounge for months. Meanwhile, Geannie decorated the red Dodge Dakota with greenery and used a stage prop casket for the ceremony.
The Baby Dolls were born out of Antoinette K-Doe’s love of carnivals. She was the third cousin of Mrs. Perry. The couple started the group after Antoinette’s father died. The Paradise Ladies, a backup group, performed in matching outfits alongside Ernie K-Doe. The two women brought back the Carnival tradition in 2003.