US toy company American Girl is releasing a new doll to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Melody Ellison, an African-American character, is the latest doll to join the Be Forever collection.
Melody’s story takes place in Detroit during the civil rights movement, making her the first African-American doll to be born after slavery.
In order to ensure Melody came off as authentic, a six-panel advisory board consisting of historians and educators oversaw her character development. The panel even included late civil rights activist, Julian Bond.
Melody loves to sing, perform in church, and is inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr to have a dream of her own. She even comes with a recording studio that plays Motown music.
Over the past 30 years, the company has created over 20 character dolls. However, only three of them have been African-American. Melody will join Addy, Kaya and Josefina as three non-white dolls in the current lineup.
In 2014, American Girl came under fire for the discontinuation of minority dolls, Cecile Rey and Ivy Ling. Cecil was of African-American descent whilst, Ivy was Chinese-American.