In connection with the groundbreaking TV series "Julia," Mattel, Inc., in 1969 offered a Barbie-like doll based on the character portrayed by actress/singer Diahann Carroll. "Julia," a comedy series about the life of a widow, single mom, and career woman--along with her son, boss, coworkers, friends, and neighbors--was the first television show to star an African-American. Julia's occupation as a nurse in the aerospace industry provided a significant improvement over the stereotypical roles assigned to black performers in TV shows of the 1950s and 1960s. The show's attempts to address racial differences, lonely women, and working moms seem tame by today's standards, but each week the show did offer positive images of blacks at time when white America worried about tense race relations and black America worried about equality. The Julia doll, lunchboxes, posters, albums, and other consumer goods likewise gave white and black girls role models to emulate.

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  • Title: Doll:Julia
  • Creator: Mattel, Inc.
  • Date Created: 1969
  • Location: Hawthorne, CA
  • Subject Keywords: Barbie, African-American, Julia, popular culture
  • Type: Barbie, Dolls from the Fifties and Sixties, Celebrity Dolls
  • Medium: plastic, fabric
  • Object ID: 103.5057