Ida B. Wells celebrated by Barbie with a doll in her effigy

Barbie will create an Ida B. Wells doll

TRIBUTE – “Shine a light on the heroines who inspire us to dream big” is the goal of the new “Inspiring Women” Barbie doll collection. The company unveiled this Wednesday, January 12 a new figurine, which pays tribute to Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), an African-American journalist and activist who fought for the civil rights of people of color and women in the United States. United, at the end of the 19th century.

“Born into slavery, Ida went on to become a journalist, activist and suffragist – shedding light on the stories of injustice black people faced during her lifetime, and co-founding several organizations, including the NAACP. [association nationale pour la promotion des gens de couleur, NDLR]”, Can we read under the photo posted on Instagram by Barbie. “When kids learn about heroes like Ida B. Wells, they don’t just imagine a better future – they know they have the power to make it happen”.

Barbie quotes Ida B. Wells in her Instagram post: “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of the truth on them”. The young woman had become a journalist and co-owner, with her husband, of the newspaper Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, destroyed a few years later after an investigation by Ida B. Wells into the white lynching. Then she will write a book, Southern Horrors : Lynch Law in All Its Phases, which analyzes the wave of violence against African Americans in the South.

The Barbie company has often been criticized for the stereotypical image of women that its dolls portray. Almost exclusively blonde with fair skin, blue eyes, slender legs, generous breasts and an hourglass figure, the Barbie doll was unrealistic. This new collection is part of the brand’s desire to diversify representations of the female gender. Already in 2015, the company unveiled Barbies that were a little more representative of women by offering dolls with 8 different skin colors, 14 face shapes, 18 eye colors, 22 hairstyles and 23 hair colors.

The Ida B. Wells doll will be available for purchase on January 17, but other figures are already on sale such as disability advocate Hellen Keller, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

See also on Then24: Barbie weightless, to encourage women to follow her in space

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