A third-party vendor listed a “Golliwog” costume on Amazon and the listing has touched off a heated discussion of the item as being “racist”. Amazon is basically caught in the middle of the controversy.
As matters of race can touch off the most heated responses in people, it is worth noting again that the listing is not for a product that Amazon is selling. It is listed on their website and offended customers are demanding the item be removed.
Historically, the “Golliwog” character starred in children’s books in the 1800s and became a popular stuffed doll for young boys up through the 1970s. However, as the era of the Civil Rights movement allowed cultural stereotypes to be challenged, the Golliwog fell out of favor with much of the public. No one disputes the affections children may have felt towards the character, but neither could many deny its obvious stereotypes with a male “mammy” type look and nappy head. T
he costume listed on Amazon included a single piece combo of jacket, waistcoat, and vest. It also features trousers, shoe covers, wig and mask. A mask of a “black face” invokes recent the recent controversy when actress Julianne Hough recently apologized for dawning a “black face” for a Halloween party in which she came dressed as “Crazy Eyes” Warren.