Ida B. Wells reading a copy of Memphis Free Speech | Source: Mattel

The latest addition to Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series is Ida B. Wells, a civil rights icon who left a legacy in the women’s suffrage movement.

Ida B. Wells was a journalist, an activist, and a researcher who co-founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC) in 1896 and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 to collectively fight for freedom, justice, and equal opportunity.

Ida B. Wells Doll | Source: Mattel

The doll is dressed in a floor-length, dark blue, lace dress and is featured holding a miniature replica of the Memphis Free Speech, through which Ida B. Wells’ activist spirit is captured as she would eventually become both editor and co-owner of this newspaper. To celebrate Ida B. Wells’ legacy, Barbie is partnering with the nonprofit organization Girls Write Now to provide high school girls with writing and publishing programs.

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Mattel’s latest doll received the stamp of approval from Michelle Duster, author, public historian, and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, who said in a statement: “I am honored that Barbie has chosen to celebrate my great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, as part of its Inspiring Women Series. My great-grandmother was a trailblazer, who courageously followed her convictions and challenged the status quo by fighting for civil rights and women’s suffrage. This is an incredible opportunity to shine a light on her truth and enduring legacy to empower a new generation to speak up for what they believe in.”

Barbie will sponsor a virtual Barbie Dream Gap event on Feb. 18 with Duster, as well as participate in Girls Write Now’s Different Perspective Initiative later this year, where young girls are encouraged to write their own story, from their perspective, guided by two Barbie-inspired videos.

Other dolls in the Inspiring Women collection include Billie Jean King, Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, and Susan B. Anthony, among others. Ida B. Wells doll will be available on Jan. 17 for $29.99.