Maya Angelou Barbie

Name: Maya Angelou Barbie

Made by and When: Mattel (designed by Carlyle Nuera) ©2020, released in January 2021

Material: Vinyl

Marks: ©2020 Mattel (on the head); GXF45/N491 (in gold letters on left buttock); ©2016 MATTEL/1186 MJ, 1, NL/MADE IN INDONESIA (on right buttock)

Height: 11-1/2 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Short rooted curly hair underneath a floral-print headwrap that matches the dashiki dress/brown painted eyes/smiling mouth with painted teeth with upper gap

Clothes: Holding a miniature replica of her prolific autobiography, Maya Angelou Barbie doll wears a headwrap and floor-length dress with floral print. Additional accessories include a golden ring, bracelet, watch and earrings.

Other: From the Inspiring Woman Series, Mattel’s description reads, “Barbie honors writer, author, activist, and teacher Dr. Maya Angelou, whose numerous awards and accolades include over 50 honorary doctorates and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Published in 1970 [sic] and nominated for a National Book Award, her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings continues to move readers around the world today. Includes doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity, this collectible Barbie doll features a curvy body and articulation for endless posing possibilities and inspired displays.”

The certificate of authenticity reads: “This doll is being presented to honor the history and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s activism, work and achievements. This certifies that your Maya Angelou Barbie® Inspiring Women Doll™ was created through the collaborative efforts of designers and artists at Mattel.”

This is the first mass-produced fashion doll sculpted in the likeness of Dr. Maya Angelou.

I want to thank you, Lord for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day, and for the hour and for the minute.

—Maya Angelou


View a diorama of Maya Angelou’s office created by Laila Johnson here.

Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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