Barbie Honors Anti-Lynching Activist and Suffragist Ida B. Wells With New Doll
Ida B. Wells | Photo credit: UIG via Getty images

Ida B. Wells, a trailblazing Black journalist, suffragist, and anti-lynching crusader will have her legacy honored with a new signature Barbie doll.

The doll, which is set to be available at major retailers starting January 17 is the latest addition to Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” series. Wells is featured in an 1800s-style high neck navy blue dress and holding a miniature replica of the Memphis Free Speech newspaper, a publication where she was both editor and co-owner. 

Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862 during the Civil War, Wells was actively involved in exposing racism in the US, writing about race and politics in the South. She went on to become active in the anti-lynching effort, even visiting the White House to advocate for reforms.

Wells, who helped to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) won a Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 2020 for her “courageous reporting on the brutal and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.” 

“Barbie is proud to honor the incredible Ida B. Wells as the newest role model in our Inspiring Women series, dedicated to spotlighting heroes who paved the way for generations of girls to dream big and make a difference,” the brand said in an Instagram post. 

Her activism and work had brought “light to the stories of injustice that Black people faced in her lifetime,” Barbie said, adding that learning about “heroes” like Wells could help today’s children envision a better future.

Wells’ joins a growing list of women who have been honored with their own dolls since Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” series launched in 2018. Other trailblazing women honored with their own dolls include Rosa Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, Florence Nightingale and Maya Angelou, who made history this week by becoming the first Black woman to appear on a US quarter.


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