Mattel Honors Literary Icon Dr. Maya Angelou With Her Own Barbie Doll


January 16, 2021

Gotta get this before it sells out!

Mattel is honoring literary icon Dr. Maya Angelou with her very own Barbie Doll, Blavity reports.

The new doll is the latest offering from Mattel’s “Inspiring Women Series” which features NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and civil rights icon Rosa Parks. The doll depicts the late Dr. Angelou, who passed away in 2014, in a patterned dress with one of her signature headwraps, holding a mini replica of her autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings


The toymaker has been rolling out a number of new initiatives designed to make Barbie more diverse and inclusionary. Their “Shero Collection” features dolls in the likeness of actor and activist Yara Shahidi, model Adwoa Aboah, tennis phenom Naomi Osaka, actress Zendaya, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, ballerina Misty Copeland, visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, whose doll made history as the first-hijab wearing Barbie Doll. 

Dr. Angelou was a prolific teacher, writer, author and activist who received over 50 honorary doctorate degrees over the course of her life and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She made history as the first Black American and female poet to speak at a Presidential inauguration and her work left an indelible mark across the globe. The “Inspiring Women Series” aims to pay homage to “incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.” 

In addition to the dolls, Barbie has also launched the “Barbie Dream Gap Project,” which is focused on “support[ing] girls in reaching their limitless potential through research, curriculum, programming, and funding.” 


“[The] Maya Angelou Barbie doll is being presented to honor the history and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s activism, work and achievements…With displayable packaging, this celebration of Dr. Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life and work makes a great gift for Barbie collectors,” Mattel said. 

The Maya Angelou Barbie Doll is available for purchase here

A million thanks is never enough Dr. Angelou. We honor you. 


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images/Mattel/Barbie

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