American Girl is making company history: For the first time since 2001, their Girl Of The Year Doll is Black. The doll was recently announced on ABC’s Good Morning America.
The doll—Gabriela McBride—is a dancer and poet, and is working to overcome stuttering. According to GMA, the 18-inch doll, which has brown eyes and curly dark brown hair, costs around $120 and is available in stores and online.
Gabriella comes with a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, headphones and a microphone and is accompanied with a book, “Gabriela,” by Teresa E. Harris. In the book, Gabriela fights to save her beloved community arts center from being destroyed and gains confidence by developing her voice through her poetry.
In addition to the books and doll, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to release a curriculum program, Express Yourself, to teach poetry to students. The program will feature a poetry contest for kids to celebrate National Poetry Month in April.
“The goal has always been to be able to create mirrors and windows for girls to see either a direct reflection of themselves or a window into a life or a culture that may be different from their own,” Stephanie Spanos, an American Girl spokesperson told The Daily News.
“Overall, we’re just really proud to feature a diverse and inclusive set of dolls.”
But over the years, American Girl, which is owned by Mattel, hasn’t been the most diverse. Out of the last 20 dolls in the company’s Historical/”BeForever” line, only six have been girls of color, three being Black, the Daily News pointed out.
But either way, having a doll that our girls can see themselves in is still incredibly important. Expect to see more Gabriela products and books this spring.