Ida B. Wells Barbie

Name: Ida B. Wells Barbie

Made by and When: Mattel, 2021

Material: Vinyl with extra articulation at the elbows, wrists, and knees.

Marks: (On the head) ©2011 Mattel; (on left buttocks in gold) HCE80; (right buttocks) ©2016 MATTEL / 1186 MJ, 1, NL / MADE IN INDONESIA

Height: 11-1/2 inches on a Curvy Barbie body

Head Sculpt: Ida B. Wells (sculpted to likeness), according to Mattel Creations

Body Style: Petite Made-to-Move

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black textured hair styled in an upswept bun with black painted hairline, brown painted eyes, closed mouth

Clothes/Accessories: Dark blue late-19th-century-style, long-sleeved, two-piece dress with white lace collar and dark blue lace that accents the bodice, sleeve edges, and skirt hem; wears black ankle boots with mock button side closure. The doll holds a replica of a Memphis Free Speech newspaper, has a doll stand, and certificate of authenticity. The backdrop of the box is an illustrated office setting with a desk and chair, typewriter, shelf of books and newspapers, and a Memphis Free Speech newspaper wall-hanging.

Other: Part of the Barbie Signature Collection Inspiring Women Series, this doll represents journalist, activist, suffragist Ida B. Wells who was a prominent figure in the struggle for women’s rights and civil rights.

A headshot image of Ms. Wells is on the front of the box.

A headshot image of Ms. Wells is in the lower-left corner of the box front. The same headshot photograph is near the top on the back of the box.

The back of the Ida B. Wells Barbie box includes an image of the heroine and a brief biography as illustrated and copied next.

The back of the box text reads:

Ida B. Wells

Journalist, Activist, Suffragist


“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” —Ida B. Wells

“Barbie® recognizes all female role models. The Inspiring Women™ Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of the time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.

“Born into slavery three years before slavery ended in 1865, Ida B. Wells would later become a formidable activist for civil rights and women’s suffrage. She started her career as a teacher and segued into journalism where she gained national prominence. In her late 20s she became both editor and co-owner of the Memphis Free Speech newspaper. She courageously exposed the inequality and cruelty that Black people faced. She co-founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1896 and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 to collectively fight for freedom, justice, and equal opportunity. Ida B. Wells spent almost 50 years bravely challenging the status quo and has inspired generations of activists after her.

“Girls need more role models like Ida B. Wells, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can be makes all the difference.”

Read more about this remarkable heroine at the Women’s History website here.



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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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