NEW YORK (PIX11) – The newest American Girl doll celebrates the Harlem Renaissance with a backstory set in New York City in 1922.
New York Times best-selling author Brit Bennett tells the story of Claudie Wells, a fictitious 9-year-old girl from Harlem, in the newest American Girl book, “Meet Claudie.”
The Harlem Renaissance was an African American artistic and cultural movement from the late 1910s to the mid-1930s.
In the story, Claudie is surrounded by a community of writers, painters, musicians and singers in Harlem. Bennett’s story celebrates the artistic expression of the Harlem Renaissance, while also exploring the challenges of the time.
“When an eviction notice threatens her family, her friends, and the beloved home they share, Claudie has an idea that just might save the day. But first she’ll have to find the confidence to let her imagination soar,” a description of the story on the American Girl website said.
When creating the Claudie doll, American Girl designers were inspired by 1920s historical publications, photographs, catalogues and other resources including “The Brownies’ Book,” W.E.B. Du Bois’ first-of-its-kind magazine for African American children.
Each Claudie doll comes with a paperback copy of “Meet Claudie.” Author Bennett said it was a dream come true to create the new American Girl character because she grew up with a love of the dolls and a fascination with the Harlem Renaissance.
“As a girl, I always loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of Black artistry that emerged alongside larger struggles for equal rights. I hope readers will enjoy exploring this fascinating era through Claudie’s eyes,” Bennett said.