WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For decades, Historically Black Colleges and Universities or, HBCUs, have been putting Black culture on display. Now thanks to Brooke Hart Jones, the magic and history of HBCUs is being shared to children in the best way to reach them, right down the toy aisle.
“We are a mission and culture-driven line. We want to inspire children, we want to spark the idea of higher learning in children’s play and share the magic of HBCUs,” Jones said.
That’s the mission of Brooke’s HBCyoU dolls. Brooke, a graduate of Hampton University herself, said she came up with the idea when she was shopping for a doll to represent an HBCU cheerleader as a birthday gift. When she couldn’t find it she took matters into her own hands.
“The former toy buyer in me and lifelong doll lover decided why don’t I start this brand? I was doing it and it was getting some buzz online and it was kind of getting overwhelming to keep up with the demand, and Dede Wright Ward of Purpose Toys reached out to me and she is the founder of Purpose Toys. A black toy startup,” Jones said.
Just like that, the cute culturally relevant dolls were launched! They now line the shelves at Targets and Walmarts all across the country. Plus, each doll has a story.
“We have a student body president that wants to go into social justice, we have a homecoming queen that’s a Pre-Med major, and we show these beautiful dolls in leadership positions, strong academic background who also love to have fun. So we really want to inspire our young people to be well-rounded,” Jones said.
If you needed another reason to go pick up a doll, Brooke has roots here at home.
“When you said Wichita Falls, I was so elated! My parents met there. My father was in the Air Force, my mom went to Midwestern, so if it wasn’t for Wichita Falls I wouldn’t be here,” Jones said.
She just hopes the line educates everyone.
“You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been and you don’t really appreciate all that you have unless you know what people sacrificed and what people did to get to where you are,” Jones said.
A message she hopes to share with the world through her dolls.
If you want to pick up a doll as soon as possible, all three dolls are in stock at the Walmart on Central Freeway!
To purchase a doll online, click here. For more information on the HBCyoU dolls, you can follow them on Instagram @hbcyoudolls.