See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New American Girl doll is based on Detroit in the '60s

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:13 PM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2016-02-23_at_2.11.31_pm.png
In honor of Black History Month, American Girl announced its latest doll will be a black girl named Melody Ellison from '60s era Detroit. 

The company, which isn't known for being spectacularly good at diversity, consulted with late Civil Rights activist Julian Bond as well as the president of Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the former director of the Detroit NAACP, and the director and professor emerita of U-M Dearborn's African and African American studies program while developing the character.

Melody will join the company's BeForever historical line, which includes characters like Kaya, an American Indian from 1764, Josephina, a 19th century Mexican American, and Julie, a white girl from the '70s.

A description of the doll's character appears on the website where her companion books can be purchased.
Melody Ellison is an optimistic, enthusiastic girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She’s excited and proud to share a special surprise with her family—she’s been chosen to sing a solo for Youth Day at her church! But what song will she choose? She gets advice from her big brother, and is also inspired by her older sister, but it’s the inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that help her pick the perfect song.
The doll, which will retail for a whopping $115, won't be for sale until sometime this summer. Plan on spending almost a grand if you want to pick up all her accessories too. They include a Motown style recording studio. 

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit