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Mattel Honours Black, Literary Icon, Dr Maya Angelou, with her Own Barbie Doll

By January 20, 2021News

Mattel, the toymaking company who sell Barbie products, have announced that they’re launching a new doll which will honour the poet, literary icon and civil rights activist, Dr Maya Angelou. This exciting new doll is the latest offering in Mattel’s Inspiring Women series which also features NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

The “Inspiring Women Series” aims to pay homage to “incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.”

The toymakers have been rolling out several new initiatives in recent years all with the aim of making Barbie more diverse and inclusive. Their ‘Shero’ collection, for example, features dolls of actor and activist Yara Shahidi, model Adwoa Aboah, tennis phenom Naomi Osaka, actress Zendaya, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, ballerina Misty Copeland, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, whose doll made history as the first Barbie Doll to wear a hijab.

In addition to those dolls, Mattel has also launched the “Barbie Dream Gap Project,” which focuses on “support[ing] girls in reaching their limitless potential through research, curriculum, programming, and funding.”

A doll version of Dr Maya Angelou will be joining this line-up of amazing women to inspire new generations of children. For those who don’t know her well, Dr Angelou was a prolific teacher, writer, author and activist. She received over 50 honorary doctorate degrees during the course of her life and was honoured with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1993, she also made history as the first Black American and female poet to speak at a Presidential inauguration. Dr Angelou passed away in 2014 and her work both in civil rights and literature is still highly regarded to this day.

The doll of Maya Angelou depicts her in a signature flower-patterned dress and matching headwrap while holding a miniature replica of her autobiography, I Know Why the Bird Sings.

“[The] Maya Angelou Barbie doll is being presented to honor the history and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s activism, work and achievements…With displayable packaging, this celebration of Dr. Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life and work makes a great gift for Barbie collectors,” Mattel said.

Due to high demand, the doll appears to currently be sold out on Mattel’s own website, however, it is also available for pre-order on Amazon in the USA.

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