In 1993, American Girl introduced Addy Walker, the first Black character in it’s collection of dolls based on historical narratives. She was a recently escaped slave. After months of begging and pleading, my parents presented me with the  then $95 doll for Kwanzaa.  I loved her dearly, even though her story made playing with her a lot less lighthearted than most of my traditional baby dolls. Until recently, Addy was the only Black character in the 15 doll series.

Good news for fellow doll nerds: Addy has finally been joined by Cecile Ray, a 10-year-old girl from an affluent New Orleans Creole family. Cecile’s story, which takes place in 1853, is the first one to be told with a co-star who features prominently in all the series’ books. Marie-Grace, Cecile’s White best  friend, has her own doll and stories as well.

I’m side eyeing the paring a little bit…why couldn’t Cecile been enough on her own? Oh well. At least she’s not Marie Grace’s maid.  You can check our the dolls here.

 

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  • uclagirl

    If you go to the website, you can see that many of the girls are also featured with a best friend. There is also another inter-racial pairing, a white girl and an asian girl from SF, which I think is very refreshing. No, Cecile may not resemble a typical African-American, but that is no need to discount the Creole story and heritage. And frankly, I think little girls growing up being exposed to a inter-racial best friend pair, who are both affluent and beautiful, is something to applaud, not nitpick.

    It seems to me that American Girl has come a long way since I was a little girl– they have a Native American doll and a Hawaii’n one, as well– and I know how much my dolls meant to me, so I am sure girls of all colors will cherish these two new additions and their stories as well.

    • Jen

      Thank you! These comments pissed me the hell off.

  • What is the typical African American look that is being referred to on this site?
    I purchased the Addy doll for my daughter. My family heritage is a combination of many things; my mother was Jewish, Native American and Creole. Her and her siblings had various eye colors and skin hues. My husband parents were Puerto Rican and the other black. So what do you think our children look like? The African American community is made up of may looks/ types and that’s what makes us beautiful .