Like Barbie, the American Girl brand is experiencing something of a renaissance right now. I can’t quite pinpoint where this renewed interest started, but a few sources could be the 2021 re-release of previously archived historical dolls and the surge in doll-related political memes in the first half of 2022. For those unfamiliar with them like the doll, the book series that accompanied each character’s release featured the girls blossoming and learn to actively engage in the turbulent world around them. Now they’re releasing the first historical doll in nearly a decade, and her name is Claudie Wells.
Created by The evanescent half author Brit Bennett (who campaigned on it for years), Claudie is a child living during the Harlem Renaissance and trying to figure out what her talent is at a time and in a thriving black art space. It’s very exciting for many reasons, but mostly because it will be the first historical character in Black American Girl centered on a positive time. The 1920s for most black Americans weren’t great, but the heart of this doll’s story is still in contrast to other dolls whose stories center around civil rights (1960s Melody) and the slavery (1860s Addy). Each book and doll deployment is focused on historical accuracy and empowerment.
Accompanying its release, American Girl is donating $100,000 to the Harlem School of the Arts and offering the ability to add donations to the school on the website. While this is a great project, I’ll warn you right now that the adorable 1920s outfits, accessories (including a cloche hat and faux Baby Ruth), sets and books cost hundreds of dollars. If you want to pick up a copy of his first book, Meet Claudieit costs between $15 and $20 depending on where you shop and sells out quickly.
(via Twitter, featured image: American Girl)
Here are some other news:
- Rapper and activist Noname spoke on PBS NewsHour about community learning and solidarity. (via PBS News Hour Youtube)
- George Dawson Middle School and Greater Southlake, Texas School District conducted George Dawson memoir Life is so beautiful inappropriate. Dawson was a famous black man whose 98-year-old literacy story champions the importance of education. (Going through HuffPost)
- Warner Bros. staff members Discovery recently terminated speak out and confirm that it is a majority of people of color and their programs are being cut by new owners. (Going through The daily beast)
- Amazon Studios has released a trailer for a new movie based on Grady Hendrix’s novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism. (via Prime Youtube)
What did you see there today?
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