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The Barbie doll line from Mattel expanded its representation of women of color even further with the Monday announcement that Black ballerina superstar Misty Copeland now has her own doll. Copeland’s doll is the latest in a growing number of Black Barbies, though there is some contention over which really is Barbie’s first Black doll.

In 1966, the “Francine” doll made its debut and the following year the “Colored Francie” doll was launched. The doll was billed as “MODern cousin” of Barbie’s and dressed in the U.K.’s “Mod” style. But the Colored Francie doll still had European features and thus Mattel doesn’t give her the first Black doll distinction.

Little Known Black History Fact: Black Barbies  was originally published on

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