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New American Girl 1920's Harlem Renaissance Doll Claudie Jones

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The comments on my last post inspired me to make another post about this. Thank you, commenters!

Today, American Girl trademarked the name 'Claudie Jones'.

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When I was online earlier today, I learned that this name was popular from 1880-1930.


American Girl is currently in a trend of making historical dolls from the 20th century (their last 19th-century release was Caroline in 2012), and there's only one time period this doll can be from if AG keeps up with this trend (unless it's the 1990s, but it would be odd to release that doll now considering Courtney was the last historical). It's the 1920s!


According to Connie Porter, the author of the Addy series, American Girl (then called Pleasant Company at the time) thought about the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to set their first African-American character's story in, as well as the Civil Rights era (which was later covered by Melody Ellison in 2016). They decided on the Civil War and slavery because, in Porter's words, "The thing was, no matter what time period they picked, it kept bringing them back to slavery. If you start explaining the Harlem Renaissance to kids, they’re going to start asking about the Great Migration, and if you explain that they’re going to ask why African Americans moved from the South, and then you’re going to talk about segregation, and then you’re talking about what happened to cause that." But enough about the history of Addy (even though that's an important topic: I think I need to write an article about that someday). This anecdote from Porter revealed something important about Claudie if our 1920's theories are correct: Claudie will be Black and be living during the Harlem Renaissance.


Unfortunately, I don't know much about the Harlem Renaissance because I haven't been taught it in school (hopefully next year when I take American History II!), but I searched it for those who don't know.


The Harlem Renaissance obviously took place in the 1920s in a Black neighborhood called Harlem, located in New York. Harlem was a safe place for Black people, as they were able to thrive and be supported in their creative pursuits. It was partially a literary movement, where writers decided to express their joy in being African-American and Black. There was poetry and books, jazz music, visual arts, plays, and other kinds of music. Since segregation was still going and many jobs discriminated against Black people, the African-Americans in Harlem used their creative pursuits to give them success, unite African-Americans, and comment on the racial injustices they were facing. Sadly, the Great Depression hit, causing this period to end.


This sounds like a cool time period for American Girl to do! Since historical dolls usually release in the fall, I want Fall 2022 to arrive NOW so I can get my hands on Claudie!


(But Sydney, World By Us isn't even out yet!

Be quiet, brain. I can be excited about Claudie.)

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