You may have heard about when schools were first integrated in the South, but have you heard about the brave little girl who endured angry white parents who shouted at her every day because they didn’t want black children attending school with their children?
I’m talking about Ruby Bridges, and if your child doesn’t know who she is, this is the perfect time to read The Story Of Ruby Bridges to them. Why? Because today is the last day of Black History Month and the eve of Women’s History Month, and the perfect time to learn about Ruby’s story. Not only is it a story that teaches children courage, it also teaches how to love others – even if they don’t love or understand you.
Chances are you’ve seen the Norman Rockwell 1964 Paintingof young Ruby Bridges, then only six-years old, being escorted to school by U.S. Marshals as a result of her decision to a school that had been all-white. It was a time of racial strife, and many white parents stop sending their children to school because they didn’t want them to go to the same school as a black child. So for months, Ruby studied alone in her class – but she didn’t let loneliness stop her. Ruby learned to read and write and she continued to learn day after day – all by herself.
The Story Of Ruby Bridges is a great picture book for young children for many reasons.It teaches children that doing the brave thing isn’t always the easy thing – but that it can still be done with dignity and grace. Also, even though each morning, Ruby was shouted at – and sometimes had tomatoes and other items thrown at her – she went to school and never gave up, because she and her parents were determined for her to have the best education. It is a story that all children, especially those who have faced adversity and bullying at school can learn from.