KANSAS CITY, Mo. – American Girl has released a new historical figure named Claudie Wells to its line of dolls and books.
Claudie grew up in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in 1922, which would later become known as the Harlem Renaissance, a golden age of black culture, arts and entertainment.
New York Times bestselling author Brit Bennett, who was herself a fan of American Girl as a child, wrote Claudie’s story.
“Before I sat down at a computer to write, I had already started telling stories whenever I played with my dolls. My sister and I were in love with our American Girl dolls and books, especially Addy. While the doll itself was gorgeous, what enchanted me was Addy’s brave story written by pioneering author Connie Porter, so creating a new historical figure for American Girl was a dream come true. reality,” Bennett said in a company press release.
“As a girl, I always loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of black art that emerged alongside larger struggles for equal rights. I hope readers will enjoy exploring this fascinating era through Claudie’s eyes.
In her story, 9-year-old Claudie is surrounded by talented designers in Harlem, but worries she doesn’t have her own gift to share. But she begins to find her talent for storytelling and discovers her family’s history. Along the way, she learns “why Harlem has become home to so many black people seeking freedom.”
American Girl said it also worked with several experts, including award-winning historians and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, to develop Claudie’s story and story.
With bouncy curls and a hair bow, Claudie will come dressed in a blue and white plaid dress and cardigan with a necklace, hat, newspaper and a Baby Ruth candy bar.
American Girl is also collaborating with Harlem’s Fashion Row and designer Samantha Black for three special edition outfits. Claudie’s collection also includes a doll-sized scooter, a stuffed dog named Dizzy Dot and a 1920s bakery set.
The company is also donating $100,000 in cash and Claudie dolls and books to Harlem School of the Arts, a cultural center in New York City. The funds will go towards a scholarship program that provides students with advanced training in music, dance, theater and art.
“Claudie Wells’ debut is a real loophole moment for American Girl, and it all started with a tweet. In it, acclaimed author Brit Bennett shared her desire to write an American Girl story based on her own experience with the brand. We loved the idea and thought it was the perfect time to celebrate how, after more than 35 years, American Girl has had such a positive impact on the lives of so many people,” said Jamie Cygielman, Chief Executive Officer. from American Girl.
“The timing is even more powerful given this incredible resurgence of nostalgic love we are experiencing from our fans of all ages. We are thrilled to introduce Claudie and her vibrant life in 1920s Harlem to a whole new generation, and we are honored to welcome Ms. Bennett to our rank of esteemed authors who inspire our readers every day and help us continue our commitment to inclusive storytelling.”
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