Black And Hispanic Dolls Are Still Hard To Find

Demonstrators in New York set out more than 150 dolls with tags listing statistics on AIDS and women's health on the steps of City Hall, but couldn't find enough dolls of color for the exhibit.

The dolls were assembled in recognition of National Women and Girls H.I.V./AIDS Awareness Day, and included old castaways and new dolls. Organizers wanted a racially mixed set of dolls to reflect the fact that in New York City 90 percent of women living with H.I.V. are black and Hispanic, 94 percent of new H.I.V. infections in teenage girls are in blacks and Hispanics, and a black woman is nine times more likely to die from an AIDS-related illness than a white woman. But despite the fact that nationally ethnic minorities make up 43 percent of the population under 20, staffers had difficulty finding non-white dolls, even in New York. "I went to three 99-cent stores and couldn't find any," said Krishna Stone, a spokeswoman for Gay Men's Health Crisis. "Another colleague went to four stores. What is that about?" Eventually two four foot black dolls were donated, and made the centerpiece of the exhibit. [The New York Times]