New Barbie doll honors civil rights leader Ida B. Wells

A new Barbie doll will immortalize and honor activist and civil rights leader Ida B. Wells, who used her job as a journalist to shed light on conditions Black people faced in the south.

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The doll is the latest addition to the brand’s “Inspiring Women” series, which also includes Maya Angelou, Helen Keller and Rosa Parks, among others. The series aims to highlight heroes who paved the way for girls to dream big and make a difference, CBS News reported.

The doll will be released on Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Day, according to a post on the Barbie Instagram account. In the post, the company said “when kids learn about heroes like Ida B. Wells, they don’t just imagine a better future — they know they have the power to make it come true.”

Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in 1862 and grew up to actively expose racism in the United States as she wrote about race and politics for the newspaper she owned, The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, CNN reported.

Wells’ work at the Memphis Free Speech is highlighted by the doll, which holds a miniature replica of the newspaper, NPR reported. As an investigative journalist in Memphis, Tennessee, Wells wrote about the lynching of three store owners, and exposed the economics that motivated the lynchings, USA Today reported. Wells later won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting.

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