Mattel launched their "So in Style" collection of Black dolls this week and immediately questions began swirling about whether the dolls were Black enough, and to what extent they represent the diversity of the Black community. Race, self-esteem and doll selection have been inextricably linked since the "doll tests" conducted by Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark in the 1940s. But how much does the complexion of a child's doll actually affect her self-esteem?
Is academia dumbing its subject matter down, or simply channeling popular culture to teach its students? Course offerings on supermodels, hip-hop, and popular TV shows like "The Wire" are showing up on Ivy League curriculums providing students with a chance to access classic theories in economics, finance, literature and sociology, through the world they know.