Dorothy Counts

Name: Dorothy Counts

Made by and When: Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls, 2022

Material: Wool-blend felt face over sculpted clay; felt arms, and legs; stuffed cotton-blend head and torso

Marks: Signed by the artist, Rachel McCullough Sherrod of Starkey’s Daughter Cloth Dolls and dated, also has a hangtag that contains the artist’s information and a certificate of authenticity

Height: 20 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Short black handmade wig, brown painted eyes, closed mouth with painted lip color

Clothes: Made by the artist, the doll’s blue plaid dress replicates the dress worn by Dorothy Counts in her iconic 1957 picture (see the gallery and the linked article), white undergarments, black slip-on shoes, gold-tone small hoop earrings; holds folded enrollment documents in the right hand.

Other: This one-of-a-kind doll honors the beautiful and courageous Dorothy Counts. In September 1957, Ms. Counts crossed the color line at Harding High School in Charlotte, NC amid protests against school desegregation from angry white students. In the words of the artist, who is a long-time resident of North Carolina, “People like her changed our landscape in a beautiful way.”

“Dorothy Counts made national news in September 1957, when at the age of 15, she became one of the first and, at the time, the only black student to enroll in the newly desegregated Harry Harding High School in Charlotte (North Carolina).” Read more at the source of the quote here.


In September 1957, Dorothy Counts is taunted by a mob of students as she attempts to enter Harding High School in Charlotte, NC.


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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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