Lil Dee from Ohio, U.S. was just 8-years-old when he founded his doll company, Our Brown Boy Joy.
Wanting to tackle negative representations of Black youth in the United States, the CEO, 9, who’s real name is Demetrius Maurice Davis Jr., decided to create a brand where young Black boys could feel represented and proud of who they are.
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In a statement, Lil Dee said: “I want brown boys to be proud of who they are. I want brown boys everywhere to know just how special they are. My subscription boxes and character line will allow boys to have items that directly represent them. I know when I go into the store, nothing looks like me or represents me – this is a problem.”
Running the business with his mother Luciana Gilmore, the dolls are dressed in hoodies and Timberlands in honour of Black youth like Trayvon Martin who were wearing similar clothing when they were killed by police officers.