Mattel Honors Black Conservative Activist, Suffragette, and Investigative Journalist Ida B. Wells With a Barbie Doll

Charles Rex Arbogast

This could well signal a sea change in pop cultural thought, or at least, that is my hope. If nothing else, at least a worthy symbol for all girls—especially Black girls—is finally getting her due.


From the UK Daily Mail:

Mattel has created a Barbie doll to honor the black American journalist Ida B Wells, who was born into slavery and famously helped to found the NAACP.

Wells, who was born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862 during the Civil War, was a skilled writer who used her skills as a journalist to draw attention to the conditions experienced by African Americans in the South.

She was an activist and researcher who battled sexism and racism across the late 19th and early 20th centuries, founding the National Association of Colored Women’s Club and helping to set up the NAACP.

Now, Wells is being honoured by Mattel as the toy company have created a Barbie doll of the prominent civil rights leader.

It took them long enough. Ida B. Wells has been ignored for years, mainly because she was a conservative activist before it was a thing, as well as a gun rights advocate, when the laws in the country were moving in the direction of creating more gun control laws solely to prevent Blacks from arming themselves.

Just because she ran as an “Independent” for an Illinois State Senate seat in 1930, doesn’t mean she was anywhere close to being a political moderate. The Left has been white-washing her political leanings and gun rights advocacy of late so they can co-opt what is a rich legacy of real activism and justice from a Black conservative writer and thinker. Wells was a giant and a feminist icon full stop. In this age of WOKE, many of the Left’s morally bankrupt and weak sauce icons are now crumbling (Hello, Margaret Sanger?)


In Wells’ writings, and particularly in an 1885 letter mentioned by Politifact, Wells expressed how she felt about Democrats and their agenda.

“I am not a Democrat,” Wells wrote, “because the Democrats considered me a chattel and possibly might have always so considered me, because their record from the beginning has been inimical to my interests.

During that time period, Blacks were aligned with Republicans, because Republicans were the party that was formed to end slavery (they did), and usher in Reconstruction (they tried). The Democrats who were the party of slavery, and then Jim Crow would have nothing to do with an Ida B. Wells, and Wells would have had nothing to do with them.

I think she would feel the same today, since much of what the Democrats are doing now is reminiscent of their tactics then. Today’s meltdown over not being able to kill the Senate filibuster and do their federal takeover of voting rights is an excellent example. They were the same party then, as they are now.

But Wells was no more happy with the Republican Party and their turning a blind eye to the evils of lynching. She would be even more unhappy with what the Republican Party has now become.

That is a story for another day.

I wrote more in depth about Ida B. Wells and her legacy here. Wells was a force to be reckoned with and blazed a trail for journalists like me, and women in general. She is worthy to be honored in this way by the popular culture.


Announcing the news, an Instagram account for Barbie said the Ida B Wells doll is the newest in its Inspiring Women series.

Although a price for the new Barbie doll has not yet been confirmed, it will be available at major retailers from January 17.

The statement said: ‘Barbie is proud to honor the incredible Ida B. Wells as the newest role model in our Inspiring Women series, dedicated to spotlighting heroes who paved the way for generations of girls to dream big and make a difference.’

Now if Mattel really wants to signal a sea change, one of the accessories available with the doll would be a Winchester Rifle.

Just sayin’.


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