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Revolutionary Journalist Ida B. Wells Is Added To Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series

snapshots of Ida B Well's likeness in a Mattel Barbie Doll

On January 11, 2022, Mattel announced Ida B. Wells as the latest addition to their Barbie Inspiring Women Series that previously featured Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Katherine Johnson, and Ella Fitzgerald. 

The Barbie Inspiring Women Series is a campaign where Mattel creates Barbie dolls in the likeness of women, who paved the way for future generations of girls. 

Ida B Wells Barbie Doll

The doll created in Wells’ likeness is rocking a updo and draped in a black dress that are resemble the cultural trends during the 1860’s through the 1930’s. The doll is carrying a miniature replica of an issue from the Memphis Free Speech newspaper, a newspaper company owned by Wells.


Who was Ida B. Wells?

Ida B. Wells portrait (Photo/LOC:Public Domain)

Ida B Wells (1862-1931) was an African American journalist, advocate, teacher, and activist. She revolutionized journalism by writing about American lynchings during the 1890s. She also led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States during this time. 

In 1884, Wells purchased a first-class train ticket with the intent to travel from Memphis to Nashville. During this train ride she was forcibly removed when she refused to move to the African American car. Wells sued the railroad and won a $500 settlement in a circuit court. 

After the train incident, Wells began her career as a journalist writing about issues of race and politics in the South under the moniker “Iola”. She furthered her career into media by becoming the owner of The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight and Free Speech newspaper. 

In 1892, Wells began an anti-lynching crusade after the murder of a close friend.

In 1895, Wells published The Red Recordwhich was a written collection of her personal observations and knowledge of lynchings in America. 


In 1896, Wells formed several civil rights organizations including the National Association of Colored Women. She is also considered a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), alongside W.E.B DuBois, Mary Church Terrell, and others. 

Although Wells passed away in 1931, she was posthumously awarded The 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Special Citations and Awards “for her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.”

How To Purchase The Ida B. Wells Barbie Doll?

You can purchase the Barbie doll on sale from Amazon.

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Check out: Dr. Maya Angelou’s Barbie Doll Is Inspiring


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