Monday, January 14, 2008

Skee-wee, It's AKA Barbie!

TransGriot Note: The Mattel AKA Barbie final design has yet to be released. While searching for a photo of it I stumbled across a picture of the Ivy Rose doll, which is available at Sisterhood Boutique

The pretty girls that wear twenty pearls and the TransGriot will be expanding our Barbie collections soon. In honor of AKA's centennial birthday tomorrow, Mattel Inc. will produce a collectible Barbie based on Alpha Kappa Alpha.

According to Elizabeth Grampp, director of Barbie collector marketing, upon learning that Alpha Kappa Alpha is marking its 100th anniversary this year, Mattel sought licensing for the doll.

While Mattel has produced African-American Barbie collectible dolls before, it's the first Barbie in the company's flagship brand based on any sorority and any predominately African-American organization.

"When you pair that milestone with an organization representing an amazing cross section of women who are empowered leaders in any field, it's a real opportunity to introduce the hobby of collecting to a new group of collectors," Grampp said. "It's such a landmark event."

The AKA Barbie doll will be dressed in an evening gown. Prominent in the ensemble will be the official pink and green colors of the sorority. Alpha Kappa Alpha kicks off its centennial celebration in Washington, DC this weekend, where the sorority was founded on the Howard University campus on January 15, 1908.

The Mattel partnership is one of several corporate deals that comes as Alpha Kappa Alpha is in the midst of implementing policy initiatives that puts emphasis of its programs on micro and macro economics. It's being pushed by Centennial President Barbara A. McKinzie, who is finance director at Chicago's Neighborhood Housing Services.

"Economics is the central focus of everything we do," said McKinzie, whose tenure began in 2006. "My vision was to make economics as much of a core competency as service has been to Alpha Kappa Alpha for the last 100 years."

Last year AKA's biennial leadership conference was moved to New Orleans from a planned cruise to infuse about $5 million into that city's economy. College chapters are charged with providing computer training to community members.

And the approximately 1,000 AKA chapters around the globe are conducting investment and financial literacy workshops for youth, seniors and chapter members.

For your Barbie collectors like moi, the AKA doll will cost about $50, and be available through BarbieCollector.com, the Barbie Collector catalog, other outlets and in partnership with the sorority.

The final design for the doll, which the sorority selected from three submissions, will be unveiled at Alpha Kappa Alpha's 100th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC Saturday. The Centennial Boule will also be held in Washington, DC later this summer.

28 comments:

CrystalR said...

why is the Barbie Doll light skin? I understood there were issues about this organization selecting exclusively light skin members. The majority of the African-American Barbies Mattel puts out maintain a minimalistic brown skin tone. This doll could very well be contraversial and bringing certain stigmas and taboos to light setting a particular group of people two steps back.

PolishedPearl said...

Oh my goodness! Why is it that people can not simply celebrate the accomplishment of this African American Organization which has reached such an awesome milestone!
First I would like to say "Congratulations" and Happy Birthy to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.! Now concerning the barbie doll! IT IS SIMPLY A DOLL!
It is not meant to represent the make up of the organization as a whole was simply to serve as a kind jester from a company! Yes, back in the early 60's it was common to see more light skinned Alpha Kappa Alpha women;but if YOU have observed members over the past years you will see that they are made up of all types of beautiful shades and nationalities!
Instead of finding fault with the doll, why don't you applaud the meaning behind the doll!!

Monica Roberts said...

Polishedpearl,
I agree with you, its just a doll.

Why are peeps still chomping heaping plates of Hater Tots when it comes to AKA?

In my mom's chapter the women encompass the full range of our beauty from vanilla creme to the darkest ebony. That 'wannabe white' shade that playa hatin' peeps continue to throw at AKA is unwarranted and undeserved.

One of the reasons I am so pro-Black is because of the AKA who raised me.

Celebrate the fact that it's not only the FIRST doll Mattel has done based on a sorority, it's the first doll they've done that represents an African-American organization, period.

When the Delta centennial comes up in 2013, the Zeta one in 2020 and the Sigma Gamma Rho one in 2022 come up, if Mattel comes calling to make dolls representing your sororities, then y'all can make 'em look any way y'all want.



.

divalicious001 said...

I just want to comment and say that the doll you have posted on your page was not created by Mattel. This particular doll was created by one of our own sorors, who happens to be in my Atlanta Grad Chapter and her doll was introduced in October of 2007. The doll's name is Ivy Rose. The website for the doll you have shown is http://www.sisterhoodboutique.com/akadoll.asp.

L. Evette said...

Again, I would like to stress that this doll is not the AKA barbie. This doll is created by Collectible Doll Company Madame Alexandar and was created before the Mattel barbie to celebrate the sorority. For more info, please visit www.sisterhoodboutique.com

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marcia said...

It's a glorious time to be an Alpha Kappa Alpha!! Let's celebrate this huge achievement. We are sooo much stronger and deeper than the color of our skin. WE are ladies that strive to serve all of mankind. We just happen to be GORGEOUS because "pretty is as pretty does" not because we're light, medium or of a darker skintone. Any AKA Barbie sporting the regal pink and green will be PERFECT!!!

So who am I? said...

Thank you for your information. I am looking forward to when this doll will become available for purchase. Would you mind sending me an email if you find out more about it? I would appreciate it.

Stacey said...

First and foremost, as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I find it to be of outmost importance to congratulate my wonderful organization for all its accomplishments thus far. Any soror would recognize this as a major accomplish that only gives a slight hint at what our organization stands. Ignorance such as the skin color issue should only be ignored and is clearly overshadowed by the most important aspect, that being sisterhood. For those who choose to harp on negativity and stupidity maybe they should do some research and look at our history. This doll is only a meger achievement in a long line of other accolades and accomplishments for a sorority with such a beautiful and rich history. Congrats Sorors!

Delta Diva said...

It's a DOLL!!!! As a doll collector of many shades and a DELTA DIVA, I say to you Crystalr and others that make our different skintones an issue, stop making trouble, stop feeding America an issue that the slave owners made, when they selected who should work in the house and who should work out in the fields. Leave that history stuff or skin color ...in the past. We are living in the 21st Century, where a Black Man and a White Woman is running for the highest office in this country, were MLKing's Dream may come true, where we can live in a nation and not be judge by color of our skin, but by the content of our CHARACTER!!! WAKE UP!!! Celebrate the history of our people, that MATTEL wants to do this for us! It is our history. To the Webowner, please keep this site updated, so I can get my Doll! Delta Diva

Keesha said...

I just made the comment before I saw the blogs that she is beautiful! It would be nice to see a chocolate beauty as well. It has nothing to do with "Hating" and everything to do with representation. We are diverse, more than just skin tone, but women of substance. I think the first comment, "Why is the Barbie Doll light skin?" was the wrong question. Why not in that case? We need to move beyond that stigma and understand that it is time for us to understand the beauty is not only skin deep! In addition, it is just a doll, but we are not just one person, we are many. I think we need to think before we leap out and open or mouths, because that is not pretty. We should not be asking why the dolls are light-skinned, but how many versions of the dolls will be made, and will each doll have different features
to represent how diverse we are? A new doll every so often...Hey maybe we will see a beauty with locks and pink and green Kente! Yes! Let us celebrate, but let us represent beauty, inwardly and outwardly. She is beautiful!

Sisterly,
Lightning Bolt (8)

Jessica said...

I think it is simply fantastic that Mattel has chosen to highlight what they encompass a black woman to be. Because of the way that the media portrays African Americans, we should be glad that the doll is not representative of the negative imagine that so many ignorant people view black as. However, because this is a doll representing Alpha Kappa Alpha, the epitome of grace and excellence, I would expect nothing less. For an aspiring member of this prestigious organization, such as myself things such as this highlight in acheivement, deepen my anticipation. Congratulations, and like many of the othe great achievements I am sure that the 20 pearls would be proud!

DELTA1 said...

I think the doll is cute....and its just a doll so it sould not spark any conflict with any organization, and we as african american woman should not continue to le skin color afflict or minds. The doll is pretty no matter what color of plastic mattel choose to use to make it....its still BLACK!!! SO be proud, and as a member of DELTA SIGMA THETA i personal will purchase the doll for my neice whom is a member of AKA. Just please keep a posting about the dolls release....

Rev. Mo said...

When will we learn that the color of our skin doesn't measure our character, and then you know the real meaning of sisterhood. Back in the early 80's at a northern college a predominant white school, I was told that I wasn't bright enough and my hair was too short. On Easter Sunday (08), I witness a part of the great late Dr. ML King dream come to life. Several "Sorors" of many colors being inducted into one of the best sorority in history, and one of them just happen to be our youngest daughter. As amid collector of Barbie dolls, I'm looking forward to adding this on to my collection. After living through racial discrimination as a child, I believe that we have overcome a lot thus far. There are too many other things that you can use the race card with beside a toy. Either you're going to buy it or not, regardless of the skin tone, if the doll would have been darker, someone would have found fault in that one. Let's celebrate the 100th AKA founder's day with what the doll represent, "Pretty Girls". All Barbie dolls are beautiful and all ways, and I do believe that Mattel will keep its tradition with this sorority doll. Look you're making history again, the first sorority to be honored by the world largest doll manufactory. This is an accomplishment within itself.

mzbella said...

Please don't start the revolution over a Barbie doll. It amazes me how people can find negatives out of even the most positive and beautiful situations. This won't dampen my spirits however; please believe I will be celebrating hard this weekend with my lovely sorors in D.C. and not consumed with thoughts of a light-skinned Barbie doll. I would just like to say, in quoting one of my favorite AKA poems that "we are the once originated, thrice imitated, but never ever duplicated sorority." So are you surprised that Mattel couldn't capture the essence that defines all of us in one doll? Just say Skee Wee already. Congrats Alpha Kappa Alpha on 100 years of sisterhood and fabulousness.

Southern Belle said...

Ladies, this should not be an issue. Don't make it one. Observations are one thing...pressing a point that does not need to be made is another. Don't do it.

The doll shown is beautiful, and I am sure that the doll that Mattel will unveil will also be beautiful. This should be a celebration of the wonderful accomplishments of this great sorority. Congratulations and may God bless all of you on your centennial, and may you all continue to represent yourselves, your families, and your communities through the tremendous works you do in your community during your second hundred years.

By the way...I am a Delta.

Thill said...

The doll is perfect in every way! Thank you Soror Barbara. I made a great decision in 1982 to join the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Beta Chapter. Highly proud, I currently serve as member of Chi Omega Omega Chapter. Soror Barbara, you are wonderful!

Compteach1 said...

We prefer a honey brown colored Barbie with Wavy, curly or kinky hair. Thanks

Prophet11 said...

Prophet11: First i would like to say Thank God for 100 years..God bless AKA.. I am the proud mother of one of the first and the finest, (Fall 07 UNC-G). I see the sister hood between my daughters and her LS, it is a awesome thing to see from the darkest to the lightest they stick together, care for each other and most importantly share the love of God together. So does it matter what shade they are no..just as it did not matter to my cousin who was in one of the twin towers that went down on 911 who's hand lead her out of the building before it went down so it should not matter about this beautiful doll. God bless you to all the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Innnnnnn Corporated.

Elizabeth said...

I would just like to say congrats to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. for your accomplishment. All the comments that hint at the fact that other orginizations are jealous are just senseless! I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and it makes me proud to see any organization that is committed to community service get this kind of positive attention or reach a milestone like this. Hopefully Mattel will honor all of the Divine 9 sororities that have all struggled for just causes because we all deserve it. Wheter we are 1st, 2nd , or 3rd we all have the same overall goals and that is to be leaders in community service and to be positive examples for other females of the African American community.

Barbara said...

Amen to that Ms. Elizabeth. You are definitely a great blessing to the sisterhood at large.

Bernard said...

I think people are way too caught up in the color of this doll. Light skin or dark, this is a Black woman. It's about celebrating a prestigious organization and a part of Black culture, not excluding skin tones. My girlfriend is a chocolate soror and I had the opportunity to attend some of the Centennial events this year, where I saw the whole range of shades. Just be appreciative of the representation!

Barbara said...

Prophet11: Great view Bernard. Awesome that you got a chance to attend the Centenial activities. I plan to get my daughter one to place with her othergifts and momentoes from her probate. Please give your girlfriend my greatest regards and best Centenial wishes.

Madame G said...

I am proud to be an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. I am even more proud to see that this wonderful sisterhood has collaborated with a household item (Barbie).

It does, however, sadden me to see that we all our picking her apart- her color, the 1st sorority to have a Barbie... I am brown skinned with nappy hair, I feel totally flatterd by the doll and all her beauty. Come on my sisters, this is not what AKA is about! I am fairly young in this sisterhood, still having so much to learn. We need to get past these frivolous insecurities. We need to focus on becoming better and setting a better example for young sorors such as myself. AKA Barbie does not diminish the AKA in you just because she is of another shade. Do we want to come off as unappreciative of this wonderful gesture? Or do we want to look at the real issues that we all face just being Alpha Kappa Alpha women?

We need to get back to what Big Sister Ethel Hedgeman Lyle envisioned.

Congratulations Sorors!

Vwat said...

I believe in Siserhood of all colors of the (so called SHADE). Isn't it all about the color of our skin? Yes, this is the reason why Brown, Burke, Hill and so on thought of AKA!, so that we as African Americans can give one another a Push up the Ladder. Congrads AKA...I am a Future Hopeful AKA. and if it helps anyone out there, I am Caramel Complexion, But as King said, "Let me be judge by my Character and not The Color of My Skin". Vwat

sallyskeewee said...

I am a white member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and ordered my doll yesterday. I think she is beautiful, and would have ordered her no matter what shade or what type of hair she had. I love her and my sorors and everyone else in the world for that matter regardless of shade, hair, race, religion, car, house, or whatever some might want to use to classify folks. God made us all perfect, nothing else should really matter. Once you accept that (crystalr) a whole new world will open up to you that you never knew existed. I hope one day you can experience that...

And congrats to AKA. Well deserved for 100 years of excellence!!! Myself, my daughter as well as many other ladies will carry the tradition of excellence on for 100s of years to come.

Barbara said...

Awesome, my sister. AKA's come in all shades, all beautiful, all blessed and all wonderfully made.

Monica Roberts said...

I second that, Barbara.

And one day I hope that transwomen will be included and welcomed as well.