38th Annual Black Doll Show: Double Dutch – A Celebration of Black Girlhood

It was truly a pleasure to visit a Black Doll Show to recognize the uniqueness of Black Girls and the nuances of Black Girlhood at the William Grant Still Arts Center in Los Angeles, California.

In the 1940s, husband and wife psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted a doll test due to social stigmas showing black children preferred white dolls over black dolls.

The black doll test results conducted by Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clarks was used as evidence in civil rights lawsuits.

In 1964, Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark were expert witnesses in the Brown vs. Board of Education and several other cases to desegregate school in the United States of America.

In 1980, Cecil Fergerson, Artist/Curator started the Black Doll show to change the negative self-image by bringing together artist from around the country to produce handmade black dolls with a variety of themes over the years to educate for example From the Cotton Fields to the New Millennium (2004), The Politics of Imagery (2011) and The War Against HIV/AIDS – Women of the African Diaspora In the Trenches (2015).

In 2006, a 17-year-old filmmaker Kiri Davis conducted the same black doll test Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark did in the 1940s and the results were unfortunately the same.

We were proud to see a Black Doll on display by our loved one Doll Artist Sharon Pittman, a retired high school art teacher and current university instructor. Sharon is also a member of the selective Los Angeles Art Association. She was born and raised in San Francisco and completed her undergraduate degree at California College of the Arts in Oakland. Sharon holds a PhD in Cultural/Museum Studies from Claremont Graduate University.

Additional handmade Black Dolls and quilts by other artists…

The handmade Black Dolls in the exhibit also touched on sensitive issues such as the hypersexualization of black girls.

Black Dolls reading a book about Assata Shakur…

Black Dolls representing the Black Lives Matter movement…

Video of a variety of Black Dolls on display…

The exhibit brought back childhood memories of me playing double dutch with my friends. Since the Black Dolls were busy playing double dutch, I took the opportunity to play hopscotch until it was my turn to jump in between the ropes.

Unicorn Bagel in Southern California

The Rainbow Bagel started in Brooklyn, New York at the Bagel Store in 2015.

Of course, California had to bring some colorful bagels to the West Coast thanks to Bagels & Brew.

Bagels & Brew introduced the Unicorn Bagel to Southern California to add some fun food colors to eat from the menu.  

As I stand in line browsing the many options to choose from off the menu, I decide to keep it simple…I order a Holly Jolly Bagel with plain crème cheese. Holly Jolly Bagels are hand rolled and fresh baked every Thursday and Sunday in December and Christmas Eve.

I’m given a number to place on the table for my Holly Jolly Bagel to be delivered to the table. Only food is delivered to the table not drinks, go figure.

Bagel & Brew has a large dining room and outdoor patio. We decide to sit outside on the patio.

Each patio table has an owl decoy to keep birds from eating food off the table.

The Holly Jolly Bagel not only looks beautiful, it feels fresh and taste just like a regular plain bagel.

Latte Art for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Supper

Latte art is a gift of patience, talent, academics and skills from a Barista.

I respect and appreciate the time a Barista takes for others to admire art floating inside a hot cup before tilting for a sip between teeth and lips to allow the tongue to taste latte.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to drink the colorful espresso and steamed milk.

I sip latte from the cup slowly, place the cup down and repeat until the colors blend together making another artistic creation as if I’m twisting a kaleidoscope.

I live a fast pace lifestyle and drinking a latte allows me time to sit back, relax and enjoy the art show inside a cup and occasionally inside a glass.

Latte art creates an emotional connection and an immediate response of surprise because the Barista usually decides the design inside a cup without input from a latte snob.

My favorite Latte spots…

1.  The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker in West Hollywood, California reminds me of Europe the moment I walk inside. I did not make reservation to eat so I decided to have a seat at the bar to order a hot cup of latte. The Barista made a special California art design just for me!

2. Sambalate in Las Vegas, Nevada is highly recommended for latte lovers. It’s a great place to listen to live music, plug in your lap top for business or pleasure while enjoying a latte with beautiful art designs.

3. Carrera Café in Los Angeles, California offers latte snobs the opportunity to drink their face using Ripples’ Ripple Maker technology on a hot or iced latte. It’s easy and fun! All you have to do is download the Ripple Maker on your mobile phone, choose a location with the Ripple Maker, upload and edit the image you select from your mobile phone and provide the location you selected with your information to  print the image on your latte!

4. Coffee Zone is the first latte spot I visited where the Barista asked me what type of design I wanted. I told the Barista to surprise me. I chose to sit outside on the patio at night under the stars, looking into the large eyes of cat staring at me from the inside of a coffee cup…

5. Love to Go creates delicious 3D lattes to enjoy in a cozy environment with limited seating. 

6. Urth Caffe offers organic coffee and tea lattes with beautiful art designs. Place your order, get your number and the Barista will make your latte quickly to enjoy inside or outside on a patio. I prefer drinking my latte outside on Melrose Avenue with my loved ones…

7. Balconi Coffee Company is where I go for my favorite Almond Essence Latte to enjoy inside on a rainy day, outside on the sidewalk or to go…

8. G & B Coffee in the Los Angeles Grand Central Market is home to the Almond-Macadamia Milk Latte and it is considered the Best Latte in the United States of America! This espresso non-dairy milk shake contains only water, almonds, macadamia and dates. You can also the Almond-Macadamia Milk Latte hot…it’s Southern California served in a mason jar. B & G Coffee is also home to World Barista Champion Charles Babinski. Babinski was second to Austraila’s Sasa Sestic in 2015.

9. Republique has the best Vanilla Almond Milk latte! I felt like I was back in France enjoying breakfast. A latte can be ordered after standing in a long line for a first come, first served brunch or at the pick up window.

10. Coffee Tomo makes a delicious Vanilla latte!

11. Go Get Em Tiger serves delicious hot latte early in the morning in a mason jar or a classy grown ups glass! Go Get Em Tiger is  also home to the 2008 United States Barista Champion Kyle Glansville.

12. Joi Café offers 100% organic lattes made with plant based milk!

13. The Yellow Vase provides a little taste of Paris, France in Palos Verdes, California. Latte served with a heart full of love…



It’s rare to see colorful structures in the middle of the desert. From afar I thought I saw giant size Simpsons cartoon characters until I saw the sign Seven Magic Mountains next exit.

The Seven Magic Mountains can be seen from a distance on Interstate 15 traveling north or south between Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. The paved roads lead to a graveled parking lot. It’s FREE to park and view the Seven Magic Mountains in a place open to the public.

There are signs warning visitors to stay on the designated path because Venomous snakes may be present in the area.

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created the Seven Magic Mountains with bright colorful boulders to stand between 30 and 34 feet high. The colorful boulders also glow in the dark at night!

The Hoodoos in Utah inspired Rondinone to come up with the Seven Magic Mountains while working on a Public Art Fund project. 

It took Rondinone approximately five (5) years to complete the Seven Magic Mountains, which was organized by the Art Production Fund and the Nevada Museum of Art.

If a person decides to visit and climb to the top and fall to their death, the artist and producers of the Seven Magic Mountains are clear from liability due to the passage of legislation. 

The Seven Magic Mountains has been standing strong in the desert since 2016 and they may be gone the end of 2018.  It’s a lot of work maintaining a $3.5 million installation on Federal land. The Nevada Museum of Art is working on a longer-term plan to keep the Seven Magic Mountains at its current location, which is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.