American Girl Introduces Civil Rights-Era Doll, Melody

PHOTO: American Girl has introduced a new doll, Melody.American Girl
American Girl has introduced a new doll, Melody.

The newest member of the American Girl doll family is a 9-year-old growing up in Detroit during the civil rights movement.

The doll’s name is Melody Ellison, and her debut ties in with February, Black History Month, American Girl said on its website.

"American Girl has always focused on pivotal periods in our country’s history, and we chose Melody and the 1960s because it was a time of great energy, hardship, optimism, and change — particularly for the African-American community," American Girl told ABC News in a statement. "The civil rights movement was in full swing, and it was not only a key moment in America’s history, but it’s still a relevant and powerful force in our society and culture today."

"We hope Melody’s stories can help bridge the past and present for girls today and inspire them to lift their own voices to make a difference," the company said.

The new doll is part of American Girl’s BeForever line. Melody will be released in August, and the Melody doll and paperback book will retail for $115, according to American Girl.

The first book, “No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic,” is available now on the company’s website for $9.99. The book’s description says Melody uses the words of Martin Luther King Jr. to help her pick a song to perform at Youth Day at her church.

“A message that I’d hope readers take away from Melody’s story is thinking about themselves in terms of their community and what they can do to be a part of their community,” the book’s author, Denise Lewis Patrick, said in a video describing how she brought Melody to life on the page.

“I think I’d like readers to understand that there’s always something that we can do to help change our world for the better," Patrick said.

In December, American Girl introduced Lea Clark, a photographer and animal lover, as its girl of the year doll for 2016.