black women

Company stops producing all black dolls, except for the former slave

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Reported by Liku Zelleke

Famous doll maker, American Girl, says that it is discontinuing two more of its historical characters. This time around, the two dolls that will no longer be produced are African American Cecile and Asian American Ivy.

In an announcement that was made via Facebook, two more models, Marie-Grace of New Orleans and Ruthie from the Depression-era will also be discontinued.

At the moment, the only African American model that will still be made will be former slave, Addy. Other non-white dolls still in production are Josefina, a Latina living in New Mexico and Kaya.

The company, in the announcement, said that the measures were taken as part of a major revamp of the company’s historical collection.

A tweet from American Girl read:

Say farewell to cherished characters – they move into the American Girl Archives this fall…

“This fall, the rest of the historical characters become BeForever, a fresh approach to these American Girl favorites that we’ll reveal in the coming months!” the announcement read.

In announcing the new BeForver project, they tweeted:

See new #BeForever covers and an excerpt from Samantha’s “Journey” book, all coming this fall…

It goes on, “Be assured that our historical line remains the foundation of our company. We will continue to create strong characters that impart valuable lessons of hope, courage, and resolve. Please stay tuned for more information about the BeForever line.”

The African American and Hispanic dolls were praised by various groups, media outlets and even parents as providing a more balanced choice for non-white children to play and learn with. The discontinuation limits the choices that are now available.

As can be imagined, there were voices of disappointment coming from people who’ve adored the dolls since they were “9 or 10” years old.

One site owner, a fan, said, “But no doubt fans would prefer to see the company taking steps forward, not backward, and taking a broader, more representative approach to the name ‘American Girl.'”