Barbie honors Maya Angelou

The doll joins Mattel’s “Inspiring Women” series

In early January, ahead of Black History Month, Mattel honored the celebrated Maya Angelou with her own Barbie doll. As the first female and the first Black poet to speak at a presidential inauguration, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and three Grammy Awards, and a nominee for a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, Angelou more than deserves a place in Mattel’s “Inspiring Women” series. Since the series’ inception in 2018, Barbie has turned nine other female historical figures into dolls, including Rosa Parks and Sally Ride.

Angelou’s inclusion in the series aims to not only inspire, but also fulfill the promise Barbie made to spotlight Black, Indigenous and women of color in more than 50 percent of the global role models it honors. The Barbie doll is sculpted to Angelou’s likeness, featuring a floral headwrap and dress, gold jewelry and a copy of her 1969 autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” in her hands. 

The doll is considered part of Barbie’s “Black Label” series, meaning it’s designed for adult collectors to display. The doll was available on, Amazon and Target for $29.99, and sold out in less than two days; as of early February, it was selling on eBay for over three times the price.

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