Golly History

Reclaiming our heritage.

Discover the real history of Golly.

The Golly Doll is a Child’s Toy!!  It has always been a child’s toy.

  • The black dolls were first made by mothers and grandmothers in Africa for their children and handmade from old fabric and cloth.
  • The Dolls were very colourful, with big eyes and smiley face. It was a tradition.
  • This tradition travelled to the Americas during the transatlantic slave trade, where black mothers and grandmothers continued to make black dolls for their children. The children called the dolls Golly a variation of ‘Dolly’.

It is a Child’s Toy!!

  • British jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons used a Golly doll image as its mascot from 1910, after John Robertson while on holidays saw children playing with the dolls in America. The children were pronouncing their ‘dolly’ as ‘golly’, hence the name.
  • Realising how popular the dolls are, Robertson’s started producing promotional Golly badges in the 1920s, which could be obtained in exchange for tokens gained from their products. “

It was never intended to be racist.

  • In 2009, the Doll came to prominence during racial tension in the UK, and got caught up in racist discourse.
  • Golly has been an innocent victim of well-intentioned political correctness.
  • Golly is part of black history – and black heritage – and we are reclaiming it. The golly doll is not a racist icon.
  • The offensive term ‘wog‘ ‘Western and Oriental Gentleman’ was used by the colonial masters as a derogatory term for any person who was not white.

Is Golly offensive to black people??  The answer is NO. 

  • The highest number of black people live in sub-Sahara African. Over 95% have never seen a Golly, and are not aware of the controversy and political correctness surrounding the doll.


  • The ‘Bring Golly Back’ campaign is helping to fund education and agricultural projects in West Africa through the sales of the golly dolls.
  • At the same time it is a re-education of the history and culture. The dolls have been given chieftaincy titles. A child born in Ghana is given a traditional name based on the day of the week he or she was born. A Monday born chief if called – Kwadwo, Tuesday – Kwabena, Wednesday – Kweku, Thursday – Yaw, Friday – Kofi, Saturday – Kwame and Sunday is Kwesi!

You can support the campaign by funding the project here or buying a doll here and help us to RECLAIM our GOLLY DOLLY!