American Girl Debuts New African American Doll From the Civil Rights Era.

American Girl Melody
image via CBS.

Since its 1986 inception, American Girl has sold more than 29 million dolls and more than 153 million books. This summer, the company will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the release of a new doll, Melody Ellison.

Melody is a nine-year-old growing up in Detroit during the Civil Rights era. She loves to sing and uses her voice to make a difference.

“When we learn about the civil rights movement, we learn about a handful of really important people. But the movement was… driven by average, ordinary Americans, like Melody,” says Mark Speltz, the senior historian who helped develop Melody’s story.

Melody will be the third African American doll at the American Girl’s BeForever historical line. Addy, the company’s other African American doll, is a child slave who escaped to freedom. In 2014, the company was heavily criticized for discontinuing 4 dolls, one of which was Cecile Rey, a wealthy young girl from New Orleans.

Melody Ellison hits shelves late this summer, and will cost $115. All of her accessories, which includes a recording studio, will go for around $900.