FORMER SLAVE CREATES THE FIRST BLACK DOLL COMPANY FOR HIS DAUGHTERS, HERE’S WHY
Richard Henry Boyd, born Dick Gray on March 5, 1843, the former slave renamed himself Richard Henry Boyd after the Civil War. Boyd eventually became an entrepreneur and wore many hats throughout his life—preacher, missionary, publisher, banker, educator, writer, and Black Nationalist.
Among other things, Boyd founded the National Negro Doll Company in 1911. According to Portraits of African American Life Since 1865, edited by Nina Mjagkij, “Funded with money from the [National Baptist] Publishing Board profits, Boyd’s company manufactured and distributed black dolls.