This article needs additional citations for verification. The golliwog, golliwogg or golly is a black fictional character created by Commerce & Caricature PDF Kate Upton that appears in children’s books in the late 19th century and usually depicted as a type of rag doll. The image of the doll has become the subject of controversy. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Florence Kate Upton was born in 1873 in Flushing, New York, United States, the daughter of English parents who had emigrated to the United States three years previously. Following the death of her father, she moved back to England with her mother and sisters when she was fourteen. There she spent several years drawing and developing her artistic skills. Upton’s book and its many sequels were extremely successful in England, largely because of the popularity of the Golliwogg.
Upton did not trademark her character, and its name, spelt « golliwog », became the generic name for dolls and images of a similar type. Black racism in USA and abroad weighted them toward the negative. Still, « Gollywog’s Picture Book » presents an uplifting life for Golly. Like Upton’s Golliwog, Kennedy’s Golly is gracious, adventurous and eager to help. The golliwog contributed enormously to the spread of blackface iconography in Europe. It also made its way back across the Atlantic in the form of children’s literature, dolls, children’s china and other toys, ladies’ perfume, and jewellery. Golliwogg’s Cakewalk is the sixth and final piece in the Children’s Corner, a suite for piano published by Claude Debussy in 1908.
Sons used a golliwog called Golly as its mascot from 1910, after John Robertson apparently saw children playing with golliwog dolls in the United States. An aniseed-flavoured chewy confection called a Blackjack was marketed in the United Kingdom from the 1920s with a golliwog’s face on the wrapper. Art historian Sir Kenneth Clark said that the golliwogs of his childhood were « examples of chivalry, far more persuasive than the unconvincing Knights of the Arthurian legend. A classic contortionist act is the rag doll act often performed in a golliwog costume, therefore also called the golliwogg act. In March 2007, Greater Manchester Police seized two golliwogs from a shop after a complaint that the dolls were offensive.