Spotlight on Cucalorus: ‘Black Barbie’ looks at introduction of diverse doll

Spotlight on Cucalorus: ‘Black Barbie’ looks at introduction of diverse doll

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Barbie Dolls are now more diverse than ever. But that wasn’t always the case.

For 20 years, Barbie was only white. A work-in-progress film shown this week during the Cucalorus festival explores what it took to create and launch the first Black Barbie.

Black Barbie, from filmmaker Lagueria Davis, will be shown at 10:45 a.m. at Jengo’s Playhouse, Fri., Nov. 15.

The film charts the rise of the most iconic girl toy of all time through the eyes of Davis’s aunt, Beulah Mae Mitchell, who spent 45-years working at Mattel.

Beulah Mae Mitchell, who spent 45-years working at Mattel (Source: Rita Baghdadi)
Beulah Mae Mitchell, who spent 45-years working at Mattel (Source: Rita Baghdadi)

Davis explains that Mitchell was one of the first Mattel employees to ask for “a Barbie that looked like her.”

The film also highlights the work of Kitty Black Perkins, the first Black Barbie Doll designer, and Stacey McBride-Irby, the designer of the 30th Anniversary Black Barbie Doll.

More about the film can be found here.

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