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Ruby Baptiste is one of the main characters in Lovecraft Country. She is portrayed by Wunmi Mosaku.

Ruby's relationship with Leti is strained because Leti missed their mother’s funeral and only pops by when she needs money.

History[]

Biography[]

Ruby is Leti’s older half-sister and has grinded her way through life while residing on the South Side of Chicago.

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

Sundown[]

Ruby sings on stage at the block party. She asks the crowd what they want to hear. Ruby's sister, Leti arrives and tells her to perform "Whole Lotta Shakin!" The crowd chants Leti’s name, encouraging her to sing alongside Ruby on stage. Leti joins Ruby on stage, and they sing together.

After their performance, Ruby accuses Leti of having ulterior motives. Leti asks Ruby for a place to stay. Ruby's over at the boarding house on McCarthy. She tells Leti that she can stay for two days. Ruby couldn’t afford the room on Linden after their mother’s funeral. Ruby suggests that her sister go looking for a job up on the Northside, but Leti refuses to clean houses. She wants to work at one of the department stores downtown.[1]

Holy Ghost[]

Ruby is skeptical of the house Leti somehow managed to purchased on the North Side. She asks how Leti could afford to buy a house. Leti doesn’t answer, directing the conversation to how the house has three floors, not including the basement, and 13 rooms. She seeks to turn it into a boarding house and make it a safe haven for colored people. Ruby reluctantly agrees to move in and help Leti fix the house up. Leti then shows Ruby the in-house elevator. However, it gets stuck. Leti sticks her head into the shaft and the elevator comes slamming down. Ruby barely manages to pull her out the way just in time.

A few days later, Leti hosts her housewarming party, where Ruby sings in the living room for the guests. Later that evening, they watch as a flaming cross goes up in the front yard. Atticus and Tree grab shotguns while Leti leaves the house with a baseball bat and breaks the windows of the three cars out front. Ruby pulls up in her car, they put the guns in the trunk, and she drives off as the cops arrive.

The next day, Ruby informs Leti that the tenants didn't like that Leti put a bigger target on their back by busting up those white boys’ cars and are leaving. Ruby reminds Leti of the installment contract that they now can’t afford and worries how they will pay it. Leti accidentally lets it slip that she received an inheritance from their mother and that she still has some of the money left. Leti had been keeping this secret from Ruby. Leti claims that she didn’t tell Ruby because she didn’t want to make her upset, but in actuality, she was being selfish. Ruby tells Leti that she should’ve split the money with her and Marvin.[2]

A History of Violence[]

Ruby arrives at Marshall Field, a notoriously white department store, to apply for a job. There, she finds another black woman working as a retail associate. Ruby asks when she started working. The woman replies that she just started yesterday. Ruby realizes that Marshall Field would never hire two colored girls and leaves.

She performs at Sammy’s. William has offered to cover her tab. She questions his motives — wondering why a white boy has come over to the “dark side.” He offers to change her life forever, but she isn’t convinced. He assures her it’s a promise he can keep. Ruby expresses her disappointment with another colored woman getting the retail associates job at Marshall Field. She explains to William that for colored people, it’s a race to the finish line. But if she had William's skin, she wouldn’t even have to run. They go back to William's place, where they have sex on the steps.[3]

Strange Case[]

Ruby wakes up in the body of a white woman. She stumbles to get to her feet and rushes to the mirror to get a better look. She initially believes that she’s dreaming, but she's not. She makes her way to the South Side on foot, attempting to make sense of what’s happening to her. She bumps into a young black boy as two officers pull up. Given Ruby’s appearance as a white woman, they assume the young boy meant her harm and throws him to the ground. Ruby comes to the boy’s aid and insists that she’s fine. The officers offer to get her some place safe and put her in the back of their patrol car. She realizes that she’s being taken back to William’s house and tries to explain that she’s not safe with him, but they simply suspect her of having a mental illness. So Ruby is brought back to William, who takes her inside and sits her on to a plastic tarp. Ruby appears to be undergoing some type of transformation, bone cracking and unbearably painful. Ruby says that she doesn't want to die. William replies: “He would say the metamorphosis isn’t death.” He then cuts Ruby open with a kitchen knife and frees her of the shedded skin.

William explains to Ruby that he wanted to apply the same process of a caterpillars metamorphosis to humans. But his research was theoretical until he met Hiram Epstein, who merely wanted to understand the universe. So he created magical doorways. He goes on to explain that the potion he gave her simply mimics metamorphosis and it wears off. Ruby is shocked to learn that magic exists. She recalls how when she was walking down the street, the people were scared for her rather than scared of her. They treated her like an actual human, though the pain was unspeakable. She describes it as feeling as if she was being unmade. William assures her it gets easier after the first time and leaves a vial of metamorphosis potion and a clip of money on the nightstand for her.

Ruby drinks the potion and goes out into the world as a middle class white woman and reaps all the benefits being so. She even takes a stroll through the park after getting free ice cream and reads the paper. She returns to William's and takes a bath. She questions why he chose to share his powers with her. He does admit that he will need a favor from her when the time comes but that it’s a small favor. Until then, she’s free to come and go as she pleases. He wonders why she didn’t use any of the money he left. She explains that she enjoyed her day using the only currency she needed: whiteness. She doesn’t know what’s more difficult: being colored or being a woman. Most days, she’s happy to be both, but the world keeps interrupting, and she’s tired of being interrupted.

Ruby drinks another dose of the potion and applies for a job at Marshall Fields under her new alias, Hillary Davenport. She meets with the manager, Paul Hughes. He’s impressed with her resume but wants to know how she feels about working alongside coloreds. Ruby says she’s fine with working with anyone that’s qualified. Though, he assures her they aren’t race crusaders. Unfortunately for Ruby, the metamorphosis potion is starting to wear off. Paul offers her an assistant manager position, which she accepts. Ruby then runs off as she begins to transform, unaware that she left her potion in the chair, which Paul mistakes to be simple perfume. Ruby runs into the back and escapes into the elevator, where she begins to shed her white skin.

Ruby approaches Tamara, who was missing from her station, which upset one of the customers. Ruby insists that she isn’t in trouble. She recalls Tamara saying she applied for the job on a whim, however, it would seem her employment upset several former employees. Ruby reminds Tamara that they can’t take her educational achievements away from her, but Tamara never even finished high school. She only has a 7th grade education and is completely under qualified, which upsets Ruby.

Ruby goes into the back with Madge, Barb, and Cathy, who try on clothes and dance to the radio as if there isn’t work to be done on the floor. Ruby asks if Paul ever came on to any of them. They laugh hysterically as Paul is a family man. Ruby then starts to dance, much to their amazement, given her rhythm. They agree that hopefully no more under qualified coloreds like Tamara start working with them. Madge, Barb, and Cathy then ask Ruby if she can convince Tamara to take them to a bar on the South Side. Ruby questions why they would want to go there. However, knowing that she’s been makes them want to go even more.

The ladies exit the store as the day comes to an end. William waits outside for her. He asks how was her first day at her dream job. He then reveals that he’s come to call on her for that favor. He needs her to attend Christina’s party, but as herself. That night, Ruby works as a server at Christina’s party for the Order. Christina tasks Ruby with hiding a mysterious talisman in Captain Lancaster’s office. Ruby is initially reluctant to agree, but Christina explains that William is the rightful heir to the lodge and that Captain Lancaster tried to kill him to take his seat.

Ruby sneaks into Captain Lancaster’s office and places the talisman in his desk. She hears banging coming from the closet and decides to investigate. Inside the closet, she finds a reanimated corpse. She is sickened by his mere smell, but is forced to hide in the closet with him as Lancaster enters. After Lancaster leaves, she manages to escape.

The following day, Ruby scolds Tamara for not matching the shoes with the dresses properly and tells her that the only way for her to be a credit to her race is to be better than mediocre. They are joined by Paul, who asks if everything is okay. Ruby claims that everything is fine and that Tamara was simply offering to take them all to the South Side.

That night, the ladies and Paul went to the South Side and danced at Sammy’s bar. While the others are distracted on the dance floor, Ruby sneaks out back as the potion is wearing off. She crushes the vial in her hand and allows the metamorphosis to occur, shedding her white skin and returning to her true form. She grabs a coat and takes cover as Tamara exits the bar with Paul right behind her. She watches as Paul tries to force himself on her. Tamara bites his lip and flees.

Ruby sits on the couch, covered in her own blood, with another vial of the metamorphosis potion. Christina enter from out the basement and locks the door. Ruby questions why it’s the only door in the house that locks and what’s down there. Christina claims that she’s been where Ruby is, but Ruby insists that Christina couldn’t possibly relate to who she is. In addition to that, Ruby has learned that white people are disillusioned with themselves. They want to be black meanwhile black people want to be white and have the privileges of being so. Christina explains that William’s invitation wasn’t just to be white — it was an invitation for Ruby to do what she wants. That’s the currency of magic: unmitigated freedom. She asks who Ruby truly is when she’s uninterrupted.

Ruby goes into Paul’s office as Hillary and gives him her notice of resignation. She claims that she’s been attracted to him since they met and that quitting is the only option in order for them to have sex. She takes his tie and binds his hands. She then takes his belt, pulls down his pants, and wraps the belt around his neck. She stuffs her underwear in Paul’s mouth before shoving the heel of her shoe in his ass multiple times. His screams are muffled and go unheard as she sheds her skin and transforms back into Ruby.

Ruby awaits William's return in search for answers. She asks what’s in the basement as he and Christina constantly go in and out. William falls to the ground in pain and goes through a metamorphosis of his own. He sheds his skin, revealing that William is actually Christina.[4]

I Am.[]

Ruby is taken into the basement by Christina, where both William’s and Hillary’s real bodies are attached to machines. Their blood is being drawn, which Christina uses to create the metamorphosis potion. What Ruby knows of William is true. Captain Lancaster succeeded in killing him. Not only does Christina want vengeance, she also wants power, but the Order of the Ancient Dawn doesn’t accept women, so she sought William out and seduced him into being her teacher. The more she learned, the more power she wanted to. Christina tells Ruby that she never lied to her. The words may have come from William’s mouth, but they were her words. Ruby then demands the truth in its entirety, and Christina reveals that it involves lost pages from the Book of Names and Ruby’s family.

Ruby has agreed to watch Dee as Hippolyta heads out for a trip. Leti shows up and tries to make amends. She asks where Ruby has been staying, though Ruby doesn’t answer. Leti admits that they’re last fight was her fault and it was their worst. It never occurred to Leti that she could end up being like their mother. She apologizes for not being truthful and hopes that Ruby will forgive her. Ruby remarks that she’s never heard their mother apologize in all her life, suggesting that maybe Leti isn’t like their mother.

Ruby is preparing dinner for Leti and the kids. When Ruby reveals that she’s been staying on the North Side, Leti suspects that she has a white boyfriend, though she redirects the question to Leti and her relationship with Tic. Leti suddenly becomes queasy at the smell of garlic. Ruby jokes that she may be pregnant with Tic’s child. Leti flees into Hippolyta’s room and opens the window for fresh air. Ruby follows her and sees Leti on the phone with Tic, telling him about the orrery.[5]

Jig-A-Bobo[]

Ruby attends Bobo's funeral. She regrets bringing Dee to the funeral, but Tic and Montrose agree that she should see him for herself. Afterward, Ruby returns to the North Side. She is approached by a white man as she attempts to unlock the front gate. He asks if she’s the maid. She replies: “No, I’m not the damn maid.” Christina arrives and sees her inside. Ruby gets undressed and Christina helps her into the tub. Afterward, Ruby takes the metamorphosis potion, and she and Christina have sex. Towards the end, the potion wears off, and Ruby returns to her natural state mid-sex.

Ruby tells Christina how Emmett Till was brutally murdered and asks Christina if she cares. Ruby wants Christina to feel the anger and pain she feels. But she knows that Christina will never understand as she was born into privilege. Ruby claims that she took the potion earlier because she didn’t want to be a black woman having sex with a white man. Christina reveals that she doesn’t care about Emmett Till, Roy Bryant, J. W. Milam, or any unfortunate souls who shared their fate. Nor does she care that half the city is on the brink of chaos. When she was having sex with Ruby, she saw someone being reborn. In truth, Ruby took the potion because she wanted to hide from the fact that she was a woman who wanted what she wanted.

Ruby comes down into the basement to find Leti developing photos of her and Tic. They discuss how Bobo was brutally murdered. Leti then reveals that she’s pregnant. Ruby says that she should’ve stayed with Marvin instead of going to Ardham, revealing that she knows about magic and how George really died. Leti warns Ruby that Christina is playing her, however, Ruby believes that what she and Christina have is a mutually beneficial relationship. During her stint with Christina, Ruby realized that she doesn’t want to be white and that what she truly desires is to create a space for herself, which she can do with magic. The two of them head upstairs, where the police are claiming they have a warrant. Captain Lancaster tries to enter Leti’s house, but is blocked by the protection barrier. And so, he open fire on the house.[6]

Rewind 1921[]

After learning that Dee was dying from a curse, Ruby calls Christina for help. The curse is a combination between Titus’ pages and Horatio’s stolen ones. However, Christina can’t remove it without the Book of Names. While she can perform a restoration and reset the curse’s cycle, Dee will eventually die. Christina will perform the spell only if Tic agrees to come back with her to Ardham on the night of the autumnal equinox.

Hippolyta suddenly returns and Christina uses her blood to reset the curse on Dee, buying Dee another 24 hours. As Ruby leaves with Christina, Leti warns her that Christina can’t be trusted, however, she trusts Christina more than she does Tic and Montrose. Leti asks Ruby if she knows about Christina’s plan on the autumnal equinox and how it likely involves sacrificing Tic. Ruby doesn’t reply and joins Christina in the car.

Ruby asks Christina about Dell. Christina reveals that she ended up in the coma after Leti hit her over the head with a shovel. Ruby then questions if Christina only helped Diana to get to Tic. Ruby believes that she was merely Christina’s plan b after she failed to get Leti to work for her, but Christina assures her that isn’t true, though she does admit that her plan for autumnal equinox is to kill Tic. Ruby makes Christina promise that no matter what, she won’t hurt Leti.[7]

Full Circle[]

While driving home, Christina drives into a light pole as Titus Braithwhite appears in the road. Christina crashes through the windshield but is back on her feet in a matter of seconds. She approaches Titus, who reveals that Tic has the Book of Names before being summoned back to the circle.

Ruby and Leti meet at their mother’s grave, where Leti explains she didn’t attend their mother’s funeral because was in jail, though admittedly, she was relieved not to attend. Ruby says that no matter what, Eloise was still their mother, but Leti argues that blood doesn’t necessarily make them family. Family is acceptance and a willingness to sacrifice everything necessary to protect it. Leti shows Ruby the Book of Names and asks her to retrieve Christina’s blood for the bind spell. However, Ruby accuses Leti of only wanting to be sisters when she needs something from her.

Ruby asks Christina about her spell. She explains that intention, location, the body combined with an incantation are the elements of magic. The first time Christina created the potion was on the bridge Lancaster shot William on. She used the energy of his death for his rebirth. For the body, she combined parts of her blood, hair, and nails with his. This is why she keeps him in a comatose state rather than just letting him die. She warns Ruby just how delicate a spell can be and if it doesn’t work, then she killed the last of her family for nothing. Ruby assures Christina the spell will work and kisses her. When Christina leaves, Ruby tries to steal a vial of her blood but Christina catches and kills her.[8]

Personality[]

Ruby has a sharp tongue and bold personality, not afraid to say what's on her mind. She's also very motivated and determined, especially when it comes to her personal goals.

Physical Appearance[]

Ruby is a young black woman with brown eyes and short black hair.

Relationships[]

  • Letitia Lewis - Ruby as a strained relationship with her half-sister Leti after years of Leti being a constant "fuck-up."
  • Christina Braithwhite - Ruby's lover, who first propositioned her as William. Ruby began her relationship with William, but discovered Christina and William to be the same person when William transformed in front of her.

Appearances[]

Season One

Quotes[]

At least Mama didn't pretend to be anything but selfish. Now, you say you bought this house 'cause you wanted to help our people, but looks to me all you've done is move in your artist friends. And if you were half the sister that you claim you wanna be, you'd have split that money with me and Marvin, regardless of Mama's wishes... But... But you didn't! No, you lied to me. You begged me to move in here 'cause you really wanted us to be sisters for once, but that was just more of your bullshit. Just you burying your guilt for doing what you always do: look out for Leti first. And I'm the fool 'cause here I was thinking, all these years that I've been helping you, sending you money, that you were just a fuck-up, but really, you're just fucked up.

Ruby to Leti, Holy Ghost

I fucking know a lot. I know there are 103 employees at that damn department store, and two of them are never gonna be colored. I know that because for us, it's a rat race to the finish line. And it's "winner takes it all". And I damn for sure know that if I was in your skin, I wouldn't even have to run. What I don't know... is what to do about it.

I enjoyed my entire day using the only currency that I needed: whiteness. I don't know what is more difficult, being colored or being a woman. Most days, I'm happy to be both, but the world keeps interrupting, and I am sick of being interrupted.

Oh, your best isn't good enough. You wanna be a credit to your race, you have to be better than mediocre, and do you wanna know why? Because white folks are even more fucked up than you think they are. They have got shit you can't even imagine. That's why you gotta be exponentially better than them, so you don't end up in some closet, half-dead, with your tongue cut out.

I don't want you to say anything. I want you to feel what I feel right now. Heartbroken. Scared. Furious. Tired. So fucking tiredof feeling this way over and over. And I want you to feel alone and shameful, 'cause I'm here, feeling this, and you will never understand it. I want you to feel guilty 'cause... for feeling safe next to you and your privilege. I should be on the South Side with my people, mourning a sweet little boy who was taken from us. You wanna know why I took that potion? Because today of all days, I didn't wanna be a Black woman fucking a white man.

You're right. You been getting family wrong. You been getting it so wrong for so long that you can't see that you're still doing it. You only wanna be my sister when you need something, Leti. And this moment might feel different to you, but to me, it looks exactly the same.

Gallery[]

References[]

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