Meet the new American Girl doll Claudie Wells from Harlem

Kansas City, Mo – American Girl has released a new historical character named Claudie Wells to its line of dolls and books.

Claudie grew up in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in 1922, which would later become known as the Harlem Renaissance, a golden age in Black culture, art and entertainment.

New York Times bestselling author Brit Bennett, who was a childhood American Girl fan, wrote Claudie’s story.

“Before I sit down in front of the computer to type, I have started telling stories every time I play with my doll. My sister and I love our American Girl dolls and books, especially Addy. While the doll itself is beautiful, what enchanted me is Addy’s courageous story written by the trailblazing writer Connie Porter, so creating a new historical character for American Girl is a dream come true,” said Bennett in news release from the company.

“As a girl, I always loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, the Black art scene that emerged alongside the larger struggle for equal rights. I hope readers will enjoy exploring this fascinating era through Claudie’s eyes.

In the story, 9-year-old Claudie is surrounded by talented creators in Harlem, but she worries about not having any gifts of her own. But she began to find her knack for storytelling and discovers her family’s history. Along the way, he learns “why Harlem has become home to so many Black people seeking freedom.”

American Girl said it also worked with several experts, including award-winning historians and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, to develop Claudie’s story and history.

With bouncy ringlets and a hairbow, Claudie will come dressed in a blue-and-white plaid dress and cardigan with a necklace, a hat, a journal and a Baby Ruth candy bar.

American Girl also collaborated with Harlem’s Fashion Row and designer Samantha Black for three special edition outfits. Claudie’s collection also comes with a doll-sized scooter, a plush dog named Dizzy Dot, and a 1920s bakery set.

The company also donated a combined $100,000 in cash and Claudie dolls and books to the Harlem School of Art, a cultural center in New York City. The funds will go toward scholarship programs that provide students with advanced training in music, dance, theater and art.

“The debut of Claudie Wells is a true full-circle moment for American Girl, and it all started with a tweet. In it, the famous writer Brit Bennett shared her desire to write an American Girl story based on her own experience with the brand. We loved the idea and felt the moment it’s fitting to celebrate how – after more than 35 years – American Girl has made a positive impact on the lives of so many people,” said Jamie Cygielman, general manager of American Girl.

“The timing is even stronger because of the incredible resurgence of nostalgic love we’ve experienced from our fans of all ages. We’re excited to introduce Claudie and her glamorous life in 1920s Harlem to a new generation, and we’re honored to welcome Ms. Bennett to the ranks of esteemed authors who inspires readers every day and helps support our commitment to inclusive storytelling.”

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