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Black Collectible Art

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A GROWING number of blacks who once considered mammy dolls and other black memorabilia racist propaganda say they are now collecting these materials as a reminder of a period in American history that many consider painful and ugly.

In the recent past, mammy and pick-a-ninny dolls, advertising caricatures, slave documents, etc have found an expanding audience among black Americans and are fast becoming very popular collectibles. Museums devoted to black history, auctions at Christy’s, Sotheby’s and on eBay, prove the popularity of black-related folk art and other collectibles.

Nearly half the estimated 10,000 collectors of black memorabilia are themselves black; five years ago fewer than 20 percent of collectors were black, according to P.J. Gibbs, the author of the book ''Black Collectibles Sold in America'' .

Some of the more famous collectors are Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Michael Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg (who coined the term "Negrobilia")

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