American Girls Marie-Grace and Cecile

Prior to attending Professor Fielder’s talk on slavery, race, and friendship in Marie-Grace and Cecile’s stories, I had very little knowledge about these American Girl best friends. They present an interesting interracial friendship, which allows American Girl’s readers to perceive the differences in experiences between a white, upper class girl and a black, upper class girl in 19th century New Orleans. It is clear in the books that Marie-Grace, being white, is distant from slavery, while Cecile has more of a connection despite her freedom. These books alternate viewpoints between the two best friends, helping girls to connect to both characters. Cecile and Marie-Grace’s friendship teaches girls about quite differing racial circumstances and just how complex the institution of slavery was, considering the racism that persists into the present.

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