Destiny – A Ruby Bridges Tribute

Name: Destiny

Made by and When: Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls, 2016

Material: Wool-blend felt (faces, legs, and arms); cotton blend (torso and head)

Marks: Unmarked, has a hang tag with the doll’s details and care instructions

Height: 13 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Handmade black Kanekalon wig styled in three braids (one braid on top; two on the sides), white ribbon accents the top braid; (rolled under bangs were added later using the curator’s hair). Painted brown eyes and painted mouth.

Clothes/Accessories: Made by the artist, Destiny wears a white cotton dress and white lace-trimmed panties. White nylon socks and white canvas sneakers cover the feet. Handmade gold earrings adorn the doll’s ears.

Other: From the artist’s Heritage series, Destiny was inspired by Ruby Nell Bridges, who at age six in 1960 became the first Black child to enroll in William Franz 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 as Ruby. She spent the entire year of first grade as her White teacher’s only student. 

Handcrafted with love, Destiny was a gift from the artist to the curator. See another one-of-a-kind Ruby Bridges doll by Rachel McCullough Sherrod here.

Gallery

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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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