by | Sep 6, 2023 | Films


Director Lagueria Davis, 2023
100 minutes plus post-film discussion.

Friday October 6, 7 pm

Saturday October 7, 4 pm

Sunday October 8, 4 pm

The Garfield Theatre
Adults $10 advance, $15 door
Students $8 advance, $12 door

It started with a simple question…
“Why not make a Barbie that looks like me?”
— Beulah Mae Mitchell (Mattel 1955-1999)

Through intimate access to the director’s 83-year-old aunt, charismatic Mattel insider Beulah Mae Mitchell, Black Barbie celebrates the Black women who refuse to be invisible and their struggle to elevate their own voices and stories.

Black Barbie tracks the groundbreaking arrival of Mattel’s Black Barbie, exploring the intersection of brand merchandising, consumer expectation and cultural representation.

This fascinating and inspiring documentary really shines when it comes to feelings. Dolls have always fueled kids’ imaginations – allowing them to envision a world of their own making. Not so easy when the dolls bear no resemblance to the children or their families.


Beulah Mitchell, Barbie designers Kitty Black Perkins and Stacey McBride-Irby, along with parents and children, collectors, educators, retailers and researchers, all share their thoughts and feelings. This poignant and still evolving story springs engagingly to life, touching each of us far more than statistics or corporate positioning.  

After the original Barbie doll’s introduction in 1959, it took 21 years for Mattel to release the first Black Barbie in 1980. Since then — pushed from within and by consumers — Mattel has made visible progress with its signature Barbie – diversifying the line with multi-cultural identities and career settings, plus a range of skin tones, hair types, body sizes, lifestyles and disabilities that reflect the world we live in.

Guest speakers Sosena Erco, Abi Esmena and Ashley Glass will lead post-film discussions, see their bios in the tab below. Join us, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about Barbie.

Gallery: Barbie stills and related photos – click to enlarge


“BLACK BARBIE: a Documentary”
Director Lagueria Davis, 2023, USA, TRT 100 min, not rated (G).  Each screening includes post-film discussion, which most patrons find worthwhile. With short trailers, intro and post-film audience conversation, allow 2.3 hours for the total experience.

THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google Map  …  Garfield Parking Options

Friday, October 6, 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 7, 4:00 pm
Sunday, October 8, 4:00 pm

Adult Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Student Tickets are $8 in advance, $12 at the door.
Tickets available online via the Tix Button (top of this webpage), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 information is on the CWC Policies Page.

Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.
Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.
Outside food and beverage is not permitted in the theatre.  No refunds, all sales are final.


    Lagueria Davis, Director/Producer

    Lagueria Davis

    Lagueria Davis graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 with a BFA in Media Art. Since graduating, Davis has established herself as an award-winning filmmaker. Maid of Dishonor, a feature she co-wrote, was a 2016 Nicholls Fellowship Quarter-Finalist. In addition, she’s had four scripts place in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. In 2019, her short film, Light in Dark Places hit the film festival circuit and is now streaming on Amazon.

    Currently, her project Black Barbie: A Documentary is moving from the festival circuit to theatrical release. She is a 2021 fellow in the Mentorship Matters program. Davis resides in LA where she’s on the Emeritus Board of the Alliance of Women Directors.


    Aaliyah Williams, Producer

    Aaliyah WilliamsPeabody Award nominated producer Aaliyah Williams is the founder of Just a Rebel, a television and film production company that focuses on contemporary stories that center and celebrate Black women. Just A Rebel’s first look deal with CBS Television Studios has been renewed for a second year.

    Previously, Williams ran The Digital Studio at MACRO, where she developed and produced Gentefied which was acquired and adapted by  Netflix. Williams is an Executive Producer on the series which just wrapped Season 2 and received a Peabody nomination for Season 1.

    As CCO she co-created the MACRO Episodic Lab with the Black List’s Franklin Leonard. Additionally, she developed and produced the 2018 Sundance selection Leimert Park which is currently streaming on BET+ and has wrapped Really Love starring Kofi Siriboe, Uzo Aduba, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing.

    Originally from Arkansas and Oklahoma, Williams graduated from Harvard and is a Film Independent Project Involve, Sundance, and active Ron Brown Scholar alumna.


    LinLay Productions, Executive Producers

    Grace Lay and Sumalee Montano

    LinLay Productions is led by Grace Lay and actress Sumalee Montano. The two Asian-American women support intergenerational stories that center multicultural talent in front of and behind the camera. LinLay strives to amplify voices that deserve the chance to leave a visible and lasting mark in the history of storytelling. LinLay’s first project, a dystopian sci-fi adventure titled The Deal, was produced with Lisa Brenner and Dean Devlin of Electric Entertainment.


    Camilla Hall, Executive Producer

    Camilla HallCamilla Hall’s first feature documentary, Copwatch, was nominated for Best Documentary at Tribeca in April 2017. She produced feature documentary Circus of Books, premiered at Tribeca and sold to Netflix.

    She produced Freedom for the Wolf, which studied freedom struggles around the world. The film premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest, and screened at IDFA, won the Slamdance audience award and went on to show at over 40 festivals around the world.



    Jyoti Sarda, Executive Producer

    Jyoti Sarda

    Jyoti Sarda brings twenty years as a senior-level global marketing executive with major studios and blue chip brands to developing impact-creating, documentary and narrative content through her company Nimble Media LLC.

    Her production And She Could Be Next, following a defiant women of color led movement to transform politics from the ground up aired on POV in June 2020.

    She is also Co-Executive Producer of Equal Means Equal, an award-winning documentary feature that is an unflinching examination of the discrimination against women built into the US legal system. She is intently focused on improving the diversity of elected officials and the electorate.


    Milan Chakraborty, Executive Producer

    Milan ChakrabortyMilan Chakraborty is Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks, where he oversees the company’s efforts in independent, studio and streaming film. He is a 15 year veteran of the film industry and has produced and executive produced about 20 films, including My Friend Dahmer, Assassination Nation, and Plus One.  Milan began his career at Warner Bros Pictures and New Line Cinema in production finance and accounting and has been independently producing and co-financing and since 2008.


    Team member bios courtesy of


    Sosena Erco

    Sosena ErcoCurrently on assignment with Procter & Gamble, Sosena Erco is a project manager and senior consultant with SOGETI, the technology and engineering subsidiary of the French multinational CapGemini Group. She holds an MS in Information Systems and BS in Biology/Business Administration, from the University of Cincinnati.

    With time spent in Europe, Africa and Japan, she is conversant with international cultures and business practices. In Cincinnati, Sosena is a board member and Vice-President, Marketing & Communications with APNET USA (the African Professionals Network) and volunteers with Cincinnati World Cinema.


    Abi Esmena

    Abi EsmenaA board member and Secretary with Women in Film Cincinnati, Abi Esmena was born in Hawaii and transplanted to the Queen City, where she majored in theatre at UK and finished her degrees in theatre / electronic media & broadcasting at NKU. She is a SAG-Aftra actor with over a decade of experience in front of & behind the camera.  

    As an actor, Abi has performed in numerous feature films, theatrical productions and more than 100 local and national commercials. Her professional experience includes directing, producing, and screenwriting with a foundation gained via studies at Second City in Chicago and the Stella Adler Studio.

    Abi owns and operates AuditionRoom513, a local acting studio focusing on Commercial, Film and TV training for actors of all ages, including voice over and audition coaching and taping.


    Ashley Glass

    Ashley GlassWith a Masters degree in Public Health from Kent State and Bachelors degree in Public Health Education from U.C., Ashley Glass is a mental health and general healthcare advocate. Over the past two years she has been active in producing documentary films about people and significant issues in the Cincinnati area.

    Her ongoing professional roles include consultancies, staff positions and volunteer board memberships with organizations such as UC Health, Best Point Behavioral Health,Women Helping Women, 4C for Children, Cincinnati Health Department, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and others.

    She is passionate about mental health, women’s health equity and empowering others to recover from and overcome the adversities faced in life. Ashley is the executive director of Black Women Cultivating Change; read more at Linked-In.



    CLICK TO ENLARGEIt couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

    For CWC patrons, the Butcher and Barrel offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should offer your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

    HOURS: MON, closed; TUE-WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking.
    RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974 or


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