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American Girl Debuts Civil Rights–Era Doll Melody

American Girl Melody
American Girl Melody American Girl

Meet the newest member of the American Girl doll family! This summer, the 30-year-old company will roll out Melody Ellison, the third African American doll in its BeForever historical line. Her story: Melody, 9, is growing up in Detroit, Michigan, during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. According to a press release, “after seeing her family members face racial discrimination and experiencing it for herself, Melody decides to add her voice to those who are speaking up about inequality.”

American Girl’s senior historian Mark Speltz helped develop Melody’s narrative.

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“When we learn about the Civil Rights movement, we learn about a handful of really important people,” Speltz explained to CBS. “But the movement was … driven by average, ordinary Americans, like Melody.”

Lead designer Heather Northrop worked with a six-person advisory board to create the 18-inch doll, who boasts thick, textured black hair and comes wearing a bright blue-and-green houndstooth dress, a blue ribbon headband and shiny blue patent shoes. 

Melody’s price tag is $115.

She joins a lineup of historical dolls that includes Kaya, a Native American girl who dreams of becoming a leader, and Addy, a slave who escaped to freedom.

Tell Us: What do you think of Melody Ellison? 

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