A Maya Angelou doll has been added to Barbie’s ‘Inspiring Women’ collection

AP Photo/Nell Redmond

Barbie is continuing to inspire girls to dream big by creating dolls for Inspiring Women. This year, ahead of Black History Month, the latest woman to be honored with a Barbie doll is author, activist and teacher Maya Angelou.

Angelou, who was also an actress, dancer and poet, received numerous awards and accolades, including more than 50 honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was also the first African American and female poet to speak at a U.S. Presidential Inauguration.

The doll bearing her likeness is wearing a head wrap and floral-print dress, and comes with a miniature version of Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which made history as the first nonfiction bestseller by a Black woman. The new Barbie costs $29.99 and is currently sold out on Barbie’s website, but you can sign up to be notified when it is back in stock.


Angelou is only the latest in a line of Barbie dolls created to honor inspiring women. The collection began in 2018 with 17 initial dolls that included both historical figures and modern women who are making their mark on the world.

The first round of dolls included iconic names from history, like Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose incredible story was depicted in the movie “Hidden Figures.”

Women who had their likeness turned into dolls more recently included “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins and U.S. Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim.


Since the first launch of the dolls, Mattel has added Rosa Parks and Sally Ride to the collection, and last November the company released a set of “Campaign Team” Barbies ahead of the 2020 election.

The Campaign Team Barbies include four dolls that each held a different role, including candidate, campaign manager, fundraiser and voter. Additional educational resources to accompany the set, like play ballots and prompts for girls to write their own campaign speeches, can be printed from Barbie’s website.


Which inspiring woman would you like to see honored with a Barbie next?

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Kaitlin Gates
Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Simplemost, she also writes for Don't Waste Your Money, where she loves finding great deals to help people save money.

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