UPDATE 10/05/2016: Amazon released the trailer to “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story” on Monday. In the trailer, 10-year-old Melody ― based off of the American Girl doll ― faces racial tension among her white peers and even her teacher when she protests the Pledge of Allegiance. The young girl finds hope for a better tomorrow, however, when her mom reminds her that “fear brings out the rest of us but love brings out the best.”
The film will be available to stream from Amazon Prime on October 21.
Adorable “Black-ish” actress Marsai Martin has landed the lead role in Amazon’s upcoming American Girl live-action special, “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story.”
Martin, who plays Diane in “Black-ish,” will star as Melody Ellison, a 10-year-old girl who becomes aware of the racial inequality around her, according to Deadline. Set in 1963 Detroit, Melody’s faith in her country begins to waver as she learns of the Civil Rights movement and the four little girls killed in the Birmingham, Alabama, church bombing. After some self-reflection, Martin’s character leans on her mom, who reminds her to always “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”
Martin expressed her excitement about the film on Twitter:
Based on the original “American Girl” series by Denise Lewis Patrick, this adaptation is written by Alison McDonald, who also wrote an episode of the “Roots” revival. Common, Christopher Keenan and Melinda McCrocklin are also executive producers, in addition to McDonald. The film will also star Frances Fisher, Frankie Faison and Idara Victor.
The film is based on American Girl’s new Melody Ellison doll, which is part of it’s “BeForever” collection, that launched on Thursday.
The only other doll in this collection is Addy Walker, a little girl who escaped slavery with her mother. Melody ― who is a believer in civil rights and is a choir leader ― “lifts her voice for equality and helps bring this significant time in America’s history to life for girls today,” a representative from American Girl told The Huffington Post.
To ensure “the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity” of Melody’s backstory, American Girl worked with a six-member advisory board who helped develop the doll itself, books, outfits, accessories, issues and story setting. The board included activist Julian Bond, Gloria House, Juanita Moore, Rebecca de Schweinitz, Thomas J. Sugrue and JoAnn Watson.
The Melody doll is available at retailers now starting at $115 for the doll and book. Amazon Video tweeted that “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story” will premiere this fall.
We’re so hype for all of this! Go, Marsai!
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place