American Girl Introduces Melody Ellison, Civil Rights Activist

In honor of their 30th anniversary, American Girl just announced they will be releasing a new historical doll this summer, Melody Ellison, a girl growing up in 1960s Detroit during the civil rights era. Melody loves singing and is active in her church choir and her character will be influenced by the sounds of Motown.

In order to make sure her story had integrity, American Girl consulted a panel comprised of historians and teachers, which even included the late civil rights activist Julian Bond. They sought to emphasize the fact that there were a lot of forces in the Civil Rights movement outside of the key leaders we hear about.

“When we learn about the civil rights movement, we learn about a handful of really important people,” said Mark Speltz, a historian heavily involved in Melody’s development, “But the movement was driven by average, ordinary Americans, like Melody.”

When questioned why they decided to release this doll as late as 2016, Julia Prohaska, the head of marketing said:

“We do approach every character very thoughtfully so this isn’t something we rush into. We’re not looking to address critical demand, we’re looking to tell stories in the most authentic and genuine way that we possibly can.”

Melody will be available in stores late summer, selling around the usual price mark of $115.

(CBS News)