Barbie's first African American friend was named Christie, and she was released in 1968 as a part of the "Talking" collection. Christie was later redesigned as a "Twist N' Turn" doll that bears a strong resemblance to the Barbie dolls of the 21st century.
As of late 2014, the Christie doll is still being manufactured. The appearance of her face changed in 1978, when the original face mold was discontinued.
Cara, an African American Barbie released in 1974, was produced through 1977. Brad, an African American male Barbie, was sold in 1970 as a possible romantic interest for Christie. An African American doll called Shani was produced in 1992 as a part of the Barbie swimsuit line. She is still sold as of late 2014.