Barbie Launching Epic Bessie Coleman Doll Just In Time For Black History Month


Bessie Coleman’s legacy is still alive–so much that Barbie is releasing a Bessie Coleman Inspiring Women doll. This comes ahead of the late aviatrix’s birthday, which is Jan. 26, and Black History Month. 

Barbie partnered with Coleman’s great-niece Gigi Coleman, who also happens to be the President of The Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars. The not-for-profit organization promotes her legacy through STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programming and educating students on aeronautics and potential career paths in the field. 

“As someone who has dedicated much of my life to encouraging youth of all backgrounds to explore careers in aviation, my family and I commend Barbie for expanding my great aunt’s legacy in such an overwhelming tribute, with a Bessie Coleman Inspiring Women doll,” Gigi said. 

“Keeping Bessie’s legacy alive has always been a labor of love for my family, and we are proud to recognize her determination and accomplishments for Black women in aviation and continue to share my great aunt’s pioneering spirit with fans of all ages. We hope through this doll more people will discover Bessie’s story and be inspired. Stories have power, I grew up on anecdotes of my great-aunt’s courage and look forward to sharing them in my upcoming book.”

Barbie Launching Bessie Coleman Doll Just In Time For Black History Month
(Original Caption) 1/24/1923- Photographic portrait of Bessie Coleman, first black woman aviatrix. BPA2# 364 (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)

To further celebrate Bessie, Barbie is also partnering with Girls Write Now, a non-profit that mentors the next generation of writers and leaders. Through a Barbie Dream Gap Project donation, the doll brand will provide high school girls and gender-expansive young adults with writing and publishing programs and exposure to role models within the respective fields. 

Bessie Coleman was an early American civil aviatrix and the first African American and Native American woman to have a pilot license. She was notorious for her flying tricks and died in a plane crash in April 1926 at the young age of 34.

Other activities Barbie is working on to honor the legend include a partnership with American Airlines, as they were the first commercial airline to hire a Black pilot. On Bessie’s birthday, an American flight will feature an all-Black female crew. 

Lastly, there will be a Barbie Branded Virtual Salon event with Gigi Coleman on Friday, Feb. 3, from 6-7:15pm ET for anyone interested in attending. Check out photos of the doll that will honor the legend below.

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