Hampton University alum Brooke Hart Jones founded the culturally relevant HBCYoU dolls to share “the magic of historically Black colleges and universities by advancing the concept of higher learning to young children in early play.” Jones, a fellow HBCU alum from Hampton University, founded the doll line in 2022 to educate future generations about the importance of HBCUs in American culture. 

“We are the world’s first doll line centered around historically Black colleges and universities at major retail,” Jones, founder of HBCyou dolls, told 11 Alive.

A new doll modeled after a cheerleader at Spelman College launched in Fall 2023. Like every doll in the collection, it comes with a significant leadership position that embodies the spirit of HBCUs. The 18-inch doll comes as a cheer captain, student body president, homecoming queen and more. Each doll has a college major and hobby, like a debate team member.

“So we have a cheer captain, a student body president, a homecoming queen, and a majorette, who are major archetypes of figures within the HBCU community,” Jones explained.

The Spelman doll joins two others in the line modeled after Atlanta HBCUs like Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

“I just want to make sure that we know that we’re educating the future generations about these wonderful institutions that have brought us where we are today,” Jones said.

Jones said the Spelman doll initially sold out due to its high demand. She encourages anyone interested in sharing the importance of HBCUs to check out other dolls in the line. The new HBCyoU Dolls are now available at Target, Walmart stores, and Amazon, but pull your card out quickly because the dolls are selling out fast.

Purpose Toys‘ mission is to create toys that center and celebrate communities of culture. Their toys include a line of natural hair dolls representing the beauty of Black hair and now the HBCyoU Dolls, which honors HBCUs.

“At Purpose, our product is more about bringing culture to the toy aisle and less about simply offering skin tone/ color. Any company can provide dolls of color. Through HBCyoU and Brooke Hart Jones, Purpose aims to not only uplift but highlight talented entrepreneurs and celebrate our amazing culture through toys,” DeeDee Wright-Ward, founder and CEO of Purpose Toys, said.