Tuesday, September 13, 2011

American Girl Debuts New African American Doll

I know way more than I need to about colonial American textiles, furniture, undergarments, food, and livestock. Why? Felicity. She will always remain my favorite birthday gift! I immersed myself in historical dramatic play with my Felicity doll and was the richest 8 year old in the Bronx until my next AG purchase was made. Felicity taught me to save my money for things I wanted; a lesson I’ve carried with me through adolescence and into adulthood. She still has a special place in my home.

I’m excited to announce that the company, now owned by Mattel, has recently launched a brand new doll! Cecile Rey is an African American girl from the 1850’s. You can learn more about her on the AG website here. I was very disappointed with the Huffington Post headline, “American Girl Moves Past Slavery, Introduces New African-American Doll,” however. It’s true, until Cecile’s launch, Addy Walker remained the sole African American historical doll available.

I remember when Addy was introduced. My best friend gushed. She couldn’t wait! The Civil War was her favorite period in American history. She and I consumed the books and learned much more about slavery and the war than was being taught in our third grade classrooms. Addy taught me about the atrocities of slavery. I love the character and doll for that reason. She was real to me and far more interesting than Samantha’s “poor little rich girl” routine.

As we celebrate Cecile, I think it important to acknowledge Addy and Pleasant Company for their efforts in educating young girls across America about the controversial nature of and personal stories from the Civil War. I hope Addy continues to be a mainstay doll and book series.

Welcome, Cecile! I'm excited to learn more about your story and your time period.

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