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Melody Ellison, American Girl, human rights

What the World Needs Now

by Deborah Cruz

In a world where we still have to sound off to remind the world that #BlackLivesMatter, American Girl Doll Melody Ellison is a relevant reminder that the struggle is still very real for minorities and the only way to change that is to speak up and to teach our children to speak up for what’s right and just; human equality across the board.

Melody Ellison, the newest character to join American Girl’s popular BeForever line, is a hopeful and positive 9-year-old African-American girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan, during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She loves to sing and blend her voice with others in harmony. After seeing her family members face racial discrimination and experiencing it for herself, Melody decides to add her voice to those who are speaking up about inequality.

Melody Ellison, Civil Rights, Equal Rights, American Girl

The beautiful 18-inch Melody doll has dark brown eyes and black hair. Melody comes in a bright blue-and-green houndstooth dress, a blue ribbon headband, and shiny blue patent shoes. Also included is No Ordinary Sound, the first volume in Melody’s classic series, by Denise Lewis Patrick.

My daughters love the American Girl dolls and their stories. Every doll has a story and every story matters. This is so important to me as a mom because I’ve spent my years as a mom teaching my daughters that every human being is created equal, every single person matters and everyone’s story is worth telling. AG perpetuates that same idea through their dolls, books and movies. Of course, some stories need to be told more than others and right now, the world needs Melody Ellison more than ever.

The new, nearly 50-minute film called “An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” available on Amazon Prime is centered around a 10-year-old girl who sees inequality in all directions. That includes police brutality against peaceful African American protesters, young girls being arrested for eating at an all-white lunch counter, and most traumatically the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. It’s an old story but ironically, it’s more relevant than ever today.

In the film, Melody personally experiences many forms of racism—racist classmates, wrongly being accused of stealing a dress from a department store and seeing a display of white dolls. Many themes in the film feel especially relevant to what’s happening in America today, in particular, the Black Lives Matter movement that has arisen in the wake of dozens of high-profile murders of African-Americans by the police.

“The story is set in the 1960s but today’s girl can relate to what she’s seeing in the media,” said American Girl President Katy Dickson. She added that young girls today can connect to Melody’s struggle in making sense of the inequalities and injustices around her. The film ends with a hopeful message. “She learns that love and the strength of her family and choosing courage over fear are the things that will sustain her,” Dickson added.

In the face of the recent election, this doll and this movie are a perfect teachable moment and an opportunity for parents to spread a message of love, inclusiveness, and tolerance to their children. I think we need that now more than ever. I get that it’s just a doll and just a kid’s movie but it’s more than that, it’s a chance to be better and to do better as a society.

As one of the marginalized of the world, I know those who are not marginalized have a different perspective not always through a fault of their own but this is your chance to change that for your children. Go the extra step to teach your child kindness and acceptance, to perpetuate the good in the world. We can make the world a better place for our children and help them make it a better place for their children through examples of love and standing up for what’s right. Let’s do this.

In celebration of the release of Melody Ellison and her movie, An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win, American Girl is allowing me to give away a Melody Ellison doll to one lucky subscriber all you need to do is enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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