Jan 172021

The Maya Angelou celebrity doll portrays her as her thirty year old self– a writer, poet, and civil rights activist.   The doll was made by Mattel in 2020 and was released on January 14, 2021 as part of the Inspiring Women™ Series.  The Black Label® Barbie was designed by Carlyle Nuera and retailed for $29.99.

Dr. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson and passed in 2014 at the age of 86.  Her extraordinary life and award winning work continue to inspire people all over the world.

From the box:

Maya Angelou

1928 – 2014


Barbie® recognizes all femal role models. The Inspiring Women™ Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changes rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.

With a multi-hyphenate career as a writer, author, activist, and teacher, Dr. Maya Angelou used her unique writing style to connect with people through books, poems, songs, and film. After joining the Harlem Writers Guild in the 1950s, Dr. Angelou took on the challenge of writing her prolific autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1970. Nominated for a National Book Award, the memoir was a gripping account of Dr. Angelou’s early life in the segregated South and how she rose above racism, childhood trauma and adversity to find her voice as a woman and a writer. In 1960, Dr Angelou headed the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the principal fundraising organizations used by Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Angelou want on to further cement her place in history, becoming the first African American and female inaugural poet to speak at a U.S Presidential Inauguration in 1993. In addition to over fifty honorary doctorates, numerous awards, and accolades, Dr. Angelou also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, the highest honor for a U.S. civilian. Throughout her extraordinary life, Dr. Maya Angelou endeared herself to readers around the world, and her indomitable spirit continues to serve as an inspiration.

Girls need more role models like Maya Angelou because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can makes all the difference.


The Angelou doll comes wearing a matching floral black and orange floor length dress and head wrap.  The cotton-like dress is removable and has a Velcro opening in the back.  The head wrap is also removable in one piece after clipping a a thread on each side attaching it the doll’s scalp.  It doesn’t unwrap, so with photo guidance it’s relatively easy to put it back on.  On the feet are white plastic open toe hi heel sandals.  No underwear. 

The doll’s rooted hair underneath is a tightly curled medium length Afro style with a black plastic headband around the hair line.  The face has dot-painted eyes and  peach lipstick painted lips with painted white teeth.  The finger nails are painted a burnt orange, the toe nails bare.  The Angelou celebrity doll is adorned with removable gold plastic ring, two bangle bracelets, a watch bracelet, and earrings.  The earrings and ring push into small holes.  A black plastic replica of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is also included.

The doll has the Mattel female curvy body which is articulated at the neck (twists, tilts,  and small up and down motion), shoulders and hips(ball joints), knees, elbows, and wrists.  The knees are cardboard wrapped for rigidity in the box when new.  The torso/waist and the ankles are fixed. The doll can do the front and back splits but unfortunately the doll can only sit up straight with the legs spread.  

An unnumbered Mattel Certificate of Authenticity and clear plastic stand with a black base are also included.

To price check the Maya Angelou Barbie doll you can use these custom links. The museum get a small commission for qualified purchase using the following links.  The Mattel website also has the doll available for $29.99 plus shipping, but it is back ordered today (1/18/21) and had May 2021 delivery last time it was available.  Sure enough it seems a new batch of Angelou Barbie dolls are going on sale at $29.99 with shipping included for Prime customers at Amazon (5/4/21) with a late May to early June delivery.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pop up again soon at Amazon and other retailers as well.

Price check Maya Angelou doll on Ebay Price check the Maya Angelou doll on Amazon




  7 Responses to “Maya Angelou Doll”

  1. It is a Beautiful Doll but it is ridiculous that only so few were made and people are selling them for 500 and up.I want to add it to my Collection.Mattell when u make dolls of color we need them on full order we should not have to be searching like this I saw it on GMA the same day it was sold out.I t was released on my Birthday 1/14/

    • Mattel will probably offer another batch at some point since they still have the notify me option on their page for the doll. Last preorder batch I saw offered back on January 14 was for a May 3 delivery.
      Right now (Mar 8, 2021) on Ebay the doll is selling for $60 with shipping included in the US. Directly from Mattel shipping is about $10 a doll, so the ebay price is only about $20 over retail and you can get it shipped right away.

    • I wanted to get this doll for my daughter and it was sold out before I got the opportunity. I absolutely refuse to spend more than the $29.99. I think it is not only disgusting but ridiculous that people are buying and reselling it for $60 and more.

    • I purchased mine on Mecari. It didn’t cost me too much because I earn credit/money for selling other items on the site.

  2. I can’t wait for this doll to go out in s to ores again can’t wait to buy her. I want it to in the future give it to my granddaughter.

    • Trying to find this doll in stores is almost an impossible feat!
      I had it on a notify when available from Target and Walmart.
      Walmart never send me notifications but Target sent me an email 2:30 in the morning saying it was available. Soon as I clicked and entered the site, it was sold out!

    • Now is your chance to buy it at retail with free shipping at at least Amazon. (5/4/21)

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