Ruby Bridges

Photograph courtesy of Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls

Name: Ruby Bridges (a one-of-a-kind doll)

Made by and When: Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls, January 2020

Material: The face, arms and legs are made of a wool blend felt. The head and torso are a cotton blend.

Marks: Signed and dated by the artist, Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls

Height: 16 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Handmade Kanekalon wig styled in three squared-off braids. The facial features are hand-painted.

Clothes: Made by the artist, the dress replicates a 1960-style school dress worn by Ruby Bridges. White socks and black Mary-Jane-style shoes complete the replication.

Other: Part of the artist’s Heritage series, Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls created this doll in tribute to the young trailblazer and now civil rights activist, Ruby Nell Bridges (Hall). At age 6, Ruby Bridges integrated the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana following the 1954 Supreme Court decision that segregated schools were unconstitutional in the United States. All states were given 20 years to desegregate schools. In 1960, New Orleans, Louisiana began the school desegregation process. Ruby was chosen, after being tested, as one of the students to enroll in William Frantz Elementary School. Because of venomous opposition from White residents, for her safety and the safety of her parents, the child was escorted to school by U. S. Marshals. White parents refused to allow their children to be in the same class with Ruby. She spent the entire year of first grade as her White teacher’s only student. The Ruby Bridges doll is part of the artist’s Heritage Collection.

Video

In this video interview with Trevor Noah, Ruby Bridges shares her childhood experience as the first Black child to attend an all-white school, the reactions of the community, and how she effectively dealt with the negativity. Her children’s book, Ruby Bridges This is Your Time, is also mentioned.

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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