Mattel has announced the latest historical icon to be honored in Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series. This year, ahead of Black History Month, Barbie is continuing to inspire girls to dream big by honoring writer, author, activist and teacher, Dr. Maya Angelou, who used her voice and unique writing style to connect with people and inspire generations of Americans. 

Dr. Maya Angelou had a multi-hyphenated career and numerous awards and accolades, including over 50 honorary doctorates and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was nominated for a National Book Award in 1970, her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings continues to move readers around the world today.

The Maya Angelou doll wears a head wrap and floor-length dress with floral print. She also holds a miniature replica of her prolific autobiography so girls can be inspired by her stories through play.

In 2018, Barbie debuted the Inspiring Women Series, a doll line dedicated to honoring historical and present-day role models who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before. The series has paid tribute to a diverse lineup of women including Amelia Earhart, Katherine Johnson, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, Billie Jean King, Ella Fitzgerald, Florence Nightingale and Susan B. Anthony.

As part of Barbie’s 2020 commitment to the Black community, the brand pledged to spotlight more Black role models and, moving forward, more than 50% of global role models featured will be Black, Indigenous and Women of Color. Barbie knows that kids’ early childhood experiences shape what they imagine to be possible, so it’s important that all girls not only see themselves reflected in product and content, but also see inspiring role models who have come before them.

The Maya Angelou doll is available beginning today and retails for $29.99. 

—Jennifer Swartvagher

All photos courtesy of Mattel


Barbie Will Show Girls They Can “Be Anything” In This Upcoming Exhibit

Order in the Court! Barbie Has a Brand New Career As a Judge

Icons Rosa Parks and Sally Ride Are Getting the Barbie Treatment