The American Girl company has transported us to different eras ranging from colonial Williamsburg to San Francisco in the 1970s. Now, the newest addition to their historical line BeForever has finally arrived. Meet the newest doll, Dakota, who wants to make sure Addy, the American Girl who escaped slavery during the Civil War, knows how woke she is!
16-year-old Dakota, who is white, is historically the most recent American Girl doll. Her story takes place in New York City in 2017 amidst a national conversation about institutionalized racism in the United States. After attending a Black Lives Matter protest in high school, Dakota realizes her goal is to let the black American Girl doll (who was forced to represent black America for 20 years before they came out with another black doll) know that she is a true ally.
“American Girl wanted to create a doll that speaks to the experience of a white woman navigating her allyship inappropriately,” says American Girl spokesperson, Kelsey George. “Now, Addy’s story lives on through this white girl from the Upper East Side who is realizing her family is problematic and not sure what to do about it but wants to make sure people know she is trying.”
The new character was developed through extensive research regarding the frustrating experience of white people who try to present as allies while asking black people to perform the emotional labor of absolving them of their white guilt.
“We’re also thrilled to release Dakota’s accompanying accessories,” says George. “Dakota comes with seven bath bombs for her self-proclaimed ‘self-care’, a Women’s March tee, and a twitter account that adds #staywoke to the end of everything you post.”
Reportedly, Dakota also comes with a framed photo of Addy, who she brings around with her to prove that she’s fighting racism and also to show people around her she has a black friend.
At the conclusion of this interview, American Girl’s Kelsey George’s phone buzzed. She quickly looked up from her alert wide-eyed before saying, “People are mad. We’re recalling Dakota. Instead we’re launching Zoe from Portland who wants to open a yarn store!”