Beside Every Good Barbie Is…A Sista: Barbie’s Bold And Beautiful Black Friends Over The Years

March 8, 2013 ‐ By Clarke Gail Baines


What can I say? I love Barbies. I don’t collect any, and most of the ones I held on to for dear life as a child are somewhere crying out for help in my parents’ garage, probably a nosy cat’s play thing, so I’m over the obsession I had with them for so many years as a young’n. But every now and then, when I see photos of elegantly dressed black Barbies, read about them being lauded in magazines overseas, or watch them become fun art exposes on different forms of black life, I can’t help but fall back in love. There were so many black Barbies back in the day and still today, and to take a walk down memory lane, I thought I’d show you some of the most popular ones and flyest ones from over the years. So yes, you can be a kid again–at least for a few minutes.

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  • RunawayJ

    Where was Nichelle? She was part of the Generation Girls collection…

  • Yay, Christie! I love this article. I knew about all of them except for the Cara doll; I’m going to be checking for her on eBay. Don’t forget about the other friends of Barbie’s sisters. I remember Janet was Stacie’s friend, Nikki was originally Skipper’s friend, and Kelly had loads of them, including Deirdre, Belinda, Keeya. etc.

  • chanela

    LMAO @ BUZZ CUTS! oh lord i tried to make skintight clothes by drawing a top and some “tights” with a permanent marker….LOL then i accidently got nail polish remover on my doll’s eyebrows and i had to draw em back on chola style

  • deefkncee

    Omg! Their hair is just like a real black chick. Damn those toy makers are clever.

  • IllyPhilly

    SIS dolls are fab. They need to come out with Black versions of Skipper, Kelly, and Stacie.

  • kickash

    I have the Simone doll i loved that one when she came out. I think the only two that were missed was Nichelle from Generation Girls and Madison from My Scene

  • Observing

    All my Barbies, started with beautiful flowing hair. Next, I’d be ready to make them over, give’em a funky bob or something. Then the bob would look off, so I’d just keep fixing the cut, until they all ended up with buzz cuts….lol! Finally, I’d have an ugly, Barbie, and I had to beg my mom to buy me more. Then the project “give Barbie a haircut”, would start all over again, which would result in the buzz cut, and me begging for more Barbies.

    Tell you’re daughters, that cutting their hair usually doesn’t work out. This will also save you money ladies…..!!!!
    : )

  • I was so happy to have a doll named after me!!!!!!!!!!!! but my brother smashed her head

  • FromUR2UB

    What a fun and light article! I really enjoyed this. I half expected to see my Christie doll, with her brown short hair cut, and her hot pink/turquoise blue wrap dress. My friend and I didn’t have many accessories, so the word we used frequently during play was “pretend”. Pretend this, pretend that. We’d used a book as their bathtub, and pretended it had push button faucets. I’m not even sure if that existed 40 years ago. But that’s what an imagination does for ya. People who think Barbie dolls are harmful to little girls’ psyches are a bunch of Duddy Fuds.

  • Liish

    Where is Nichelle from the Generation Girl barbie collection… She had a with a mean afro.

    • I was just thinking the same thing. I love her hair.

  • Ms. Kameria

    Shani was the business because she was the one who had the perfume that came with her….she was my favorite. That perfume stunk like hell tho….