In the short time I was working at An alternative school for children who have behavioral issues, I found myself intrigued and enamored with History class during Martin Luther King Week. No this isn’t another paper about him! One person the teacher did focus on was Ruby Bridges. The first black American to desegregate the white schools! Who is still alive today! And beyond being alive is an activist and is a motivational speaker amongst other things.
No one that is white would ever be able to begin to understand what Ruby and so many other black Americans went through during their lifetime.
No matter how “not racist” we say are, ( I say we because I am the average white American living in a community that has way below the average black American. In fact, according to areavibes.com there are .04% in my town. 1.23% of the population of the state!) we actually are still. If you advocate for MLK on January 18th, good for you but what did you do the rest of the year? If you know someone is racist and you don’t do anything about it, that is also racist. I sit here, ashamed that I am not at a point where I can say I am completely free of racism.
According to the movie that was made in 1998. Ruby Bridges, and many other sources; Ruby Bridges didn’t eat lunch, until the teachers found out the reason. She was afraid the students would poison it.
Its truly amazing to me how much one person can endure. I, in my “normal” life have had mental illnesses, deaths, emergencies. When I think of the things Ruby had to endure, mine are minute, miniscule. What is even sadder is, its all relative.
Ruby paved the way for desegregation. “Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail…” Was it her parents that started the movement? Was it the 1954 brown v. board of Education? Was it Ruby? I think it was a mix of everything, Ruby Is the one that had to actually experience it. I’m not taking any dignity away from her mother. Escorting her to school every day, her father losing his job, obviously there was huge impact on the whole family. To be the person, and at only six years old takes a certain kind of strength. Even of you don’t know you have it, even if you don’t truly understand what you are doing for the future. It is said she didn’t even understand it was the color of her skin that led all other children to not play with her until she asked and was told after asking a fellow student to play.
She took her experience and became a force. Some, maybe a lot of people have experiences and it breaks them, they don’t know how to handle it. I think there are very few people who can make an impact like she did and then continue on to educate and advocate for the cause.
Maybe, I in my .04% town sit here still blind to what goes on in the world. In my corner I see nothing. See, that’s just it. I say nothing, because I certainly am blind. I bet many things happen daily, and I am living in a state of supremacy. Supremacy being the cause of my blindness.
If it wasn’t for Ruby Bridges, how would it have turned out? I haven’t gone through all the other submissions on here, but seeing what I have I’m willing to assume the majority of these hero’s / heroines wouldn’t be what they are today if Ruby hadn’t taken that chance on November 14!