Doll A Lesson in Equality?

American Girl introduced a new historic doll in February in honor of Black History Month. Her name is Melody Ellison, she is an African-American girl who grew up during the Civil Rights movement in Detroit.

American Girl released this statement about their new doll. Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.46.58 PM

Each historic American Girl doll comes with a backstory. Melody Ellison is described on their website as “a 9-year-old girl in Detroit in the mid-’60s who loves to sing, perform in church, and who is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to spread awareness on racial inequality.” This is American Girl’s third black doll.

Many believe Melody is a great teaching tool for young girls about the Civil Rights era but many do not agree. Sevonna M. Brown, a human rights project manager at Black Women’s Blueprint, said, “the doll from Motown does not reflect the experiences of so many black girls then or now.” Brown stated that Melody just reminds people of discrimination. Her skin color is too light and her hair is too straight to be a reflection of the young girls living in Detroit during that time Brown mentioned.

What are your thoughts on the newest historical American Doll and its timely release? Do you think Melody Ellison is a positive teaching tool for young girls learning about the Civil Rights era or do you think the doll is an inaccurate reflection of the decade?

Here is the link to the article written by Sevonna M. Brown in Time magazine.

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