'Black Barbie' documentary to tell story behind iconic dolls

Netflix show to tell story of how Black Barbie came to be


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Executive producer Shonda Rhimes. (Photo by  AFP)
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes. (Photo by AFP)

Published: Thu 6 Jun 2024, 12:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jun 2024, 1:22 PM

Shondaland's upcoming documentary, Black Barbie, is set to unveil the inspiring and influential story behind the creation of the iconic dolls.

The trailer for the documentary has been released, offering a glimpse into the remarkable journey of the Black Barbie and the women who brought them to life at Mattel.

The trailer features interviews with the women who played a pivotal role in the creation of the influential dolls.

Executive producer Shonda Rhimes sets the tone by saying, "If you go through life, and you've never seen anything made in your own image, there is damage done. I thought Black Barbie felt magical."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Barbie is a celebration of the Black women at Mattel who had a profound impact on the evolution of the Barbie brand as it stands today.

The documentary promises to tell the captivating story of how the first Black Barbie came to be in 1980, emphasising the significance of representation and the crucial role dolls play in the formation of identity and imagination.

Kitty Black Perkins, the visionary designer behind Black Barbie, shares her insight into the creation of the doll, saying, "I designed Black Barbie to reflect the total look of a Black woman."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the documentary is directed by Lagueria Davis, who draws inspiration from the story of her great aunt Beulah Mae Mitchell, a trailblazer at Mattel who fearlessly advocated for a doll that resembled her.

The Black Barbie documentary is not only set to delve into the history of Black dolls but also their impact on civil rights and Black entrepreneurship.

This documentary is scheduled to hit Netflix on June 10.


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