Barbie Announces New Ida B. Wells Doll as Part of Its ‘Inspiring Women' Series

The doll is set to be released next week

The Ida B. Wells Barbie.
Jason Tidwell/Mattel

Barbie is continuing its ongoing "Inspiring Women" series by honoring trailblazing journalist, suffragist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells with a doll in her image.

The new doll, which will debut at select major retailers on Jan. 17, depicts Wells wearing a floor-length dress and holding a miniature replica of the "Memphis Free Speech" newspaper, a publication where she was both editor and co-owner.

In a statement shared with Shop TODAY, Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel shared that the company is "incredibly proud" to welcome Wells to the "Inspiring Women" line, "so kids can learn more about the great strides she made toward equality during her lifetime."

"It is so important for kids to be exposed to role models like Ida B. Wells to remind them that they are powerful and can make a difference in the world," McKnight said.

Wells was an anti-lynching activist and was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for her "outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching." She also helped found the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

"I am honored that Barbie has chosen to celebrate my great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, as part of its Inspiring Women Series," Michelle Duster, Wells' great-granddaughter and author of "Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth," said in a statement. "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.”

The Ida B. Wells Barbie retails for $30 and will be available at Amazon, Target and Walmart starting Monday.

Wells' figure joins a growing list of history-making women who have been honored with their own dolls since Barbie's Inspiring Women Series launched in 2018. Other figures include Dr. Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhart. Frida Kahlo was added in 2018, but faced some controversy.

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