Friday, July 1, 2022

CDU Professor Curates 35th Annual Black Doll Exhibit to Empower Black Women Living With HIV/AIDS

cynthia davis (cdu)
Charles Drew University Asst. Professor Cynthia Davis

*LOS ANGELES, CA — This December, Charles R. Drew University (CDU) of Medicine and Science’s  Assistant Professor Cynthia Davis will curate the 35th Annual Black Doll Show at The William Grant Still Arts Center.

The exhibit will feature work by local artists, including hand-made dolls, altars, National Names Project Quilts, sculptures, and a video preview of a relevant documentary focusing on African American women living with HIV/AIDS in the South.

The Black Doll Show at The William Grant Still Arts Center, started in 1980, was inspired by the “Black Doll Test” conducted in the 1940’s by pioneering psychologists Mamie and Kenneth Clark which concluded that many African-American children preferred playing with white dolls over black dolls. This year’s theme focuses on the negative impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on women of color on a local, national and global basis.

“Through art and discussion, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and our partners hope to raise awareness of both the prevalence and plight of women of color living with HIV/AIDS,” said Cynthia Davis, Professor at CDU. “Too many women of color are living with shame and in isolation. It is time we break the silence and empower individuals to know their status and get treatment, care, and support.”

Artists will include community members: Allyson Allen, Floyd Bell, Cynthia Davis, Ofelia Esparza, Bernard Hoyes, Ingrid Humphrey, Gary Jones, Mary Kimbrough, Ramsess, Joey Terrill, Stormy Weather, and art work and/or dolls solicited from clients from His Sheltering Arms, the Alcoholism Center for Women, T.H.E. Health and Wellness Centers and Holman United Methodist Church’s HOPE Ministry.

The event is made possible by the following partners: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, ABACT Women’s Sub-Committee, Alcoholism Center for Women, Association of Black Women Physicians, Black Women for Wellness, California Black Women’s Health Project, Charles R. Drew University, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Inglewood Alumnae Chapter, His Sheltering Arms,  and the William Grant Still Art Center.

cdu black dolls flyer


The 35th Annual Black Doll Show, Trench Art Retrospective: The War Against HIV/AIDS Women of the African Diaspora In The Trenches, runs from December 12, 2015—February 13, 2016, open Tuesday—Saturday, 12:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m., free admission.


  • Opening Day: December 12, 2015
    2:00 p.m.: Tour of the art center
    3:00 p.m.:  Drum Ceremony, Entertainment, Panel discussion and Q and A with women living with HIV/AIDS
  • Dolls of Hope: December 19, 2015 and January 23, 2016, 2:00 PM
    Cynthia Davis will teach participants to make handmade cloth dolls to be given to at-risk women and girls, as well as women and girls living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Wilhemina’s War Documentary Screening:            January 9, 2016, 3:00-5:00 PM
    CDU and AIDS Healthcare Foundation will sponsor a screening of, Wilhemina’s War, a documentary focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS among African American women living in the South.


William Grant Still Art Center, 2520 S. West View Street, Los Angeles, CA 90016

About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 575 medical doctors, 2,700 post-graduate physicians, more than 1,200 physician assistants, 615 nurses and hundreds of other health professionals. CDU’s mission is to develop a diverse group of health professional leaders who seek social justice, promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion and are uniquely qualified to transform the health of underserved populations through outstanding education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement.

For more information, visit




Isidra Person-Lynn,
Communications Specialist





- Advertisement -