Grant #300

Black Barbie: A Documentary

June 25, 2018

Chances are you don’t remember a time when there wasn’t a Black version of the iconic Barbie doll. This director’s Aunt Beulah got Mattel to put an end to 21 years of that all-white nonsense.

Can you believe Barbie used to come in one color and one shape?

Today there are over 60 different new Barbie dolls on Mattel’s website. Beulah Mae Mitchell worked at the toy company for nearly half a century. She’s the one who dared to ask that they make a Black doll, a doll that looked like her. Filmmaker Lagueria Davis heard all the stories about the long struggle to see Black women represented equally, and the part her Aunt Beulah played. Now, Beulah’s role is about to become, literally, a starring role in the documentary her niece is shooting. Davis wants to tell her aunt’s story as part of the larger history of white domination of the toy industry, which meant dolls, books, toys, games, pretty much everything, almost exclusively represented white faces. Because Aunt Beulah and others refused to accept the corporate status quo, today’s parents can find products that will allow their children to see themselves in their playthings.

We can’t wait to see this movie, and we’re excited to help pay for the sizzle reel.

Learn more at, and follow along with Lagueria (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), producer Camilla Hall (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and the hashtag #blackbarbie.



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders