|Ruby Bridges||Additional Resources:|
Date: November 1960
"A procession of mothers moved
in and out of the schools, removing books and other belongings of their
children. Many vowed that their children would not return to class
so long as the Negroes were there."
THROUGH MY EYES by Ruby Bridges is her personal story of her first-grade experience as the first black student to enter the all-white William Frantz Public School.
Bridges personally recounts her first school year experience as she is escorted each day by federal marshals; her feeling of being isolated; cruel jeers, racial slurs and death threats; the courage, struggles and support of her family; her student/teacher relationship and the Foundation she created to give back to her community.
Throughout the book, readers will be introduced and experience actual photos of these events as well as quotes from The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie, along with Norman Rockwell's cover for the Saturday Evening Post.
Excerpts: SOME SHOW COURAGE
“The crowd was waiting for the white man who dared to bring his white child to school. And here he came along the guarded walk a tall man dressed in light gray, leading his frightened child by the hand. His body was tensed as a strong leaf spring drawn to the breaking strain; his face was grave and gray, and his eyes were on the ground immediately ahead of him. The muscles of his cheeks stood out from clenched jaws, a man afraid who by his will held his fears in check as a great rider directs a panicked horse.
“A shrill, grating voice rang out. The yelling was not in chorus. Each took a turn and at the end of each the crowd broke into howls and roars and whistles of applause. This is what they had come to see and hear.
“No newspaper had printed the words these women shouted. It was indicated that they were indelicate, some even said obscene. On television the sound track was made to blur or had crowd noises cut in to cover. But now I heard the words, bestial and filthy and degenerate.”
Excerpts: THE END OF FIRST GRADE
“Near the end of the y ear, Mrs. Henry and I finally had company. A few white children began coming back to school, and I got an opportunity to visit with them once or twice. Even though these children were white, I still knew nothing about racism or integration….
“The light dawned on me one day when a little white boy refused to play with me. ‘ I can’t play with you’, the boy said. ‘My mama said not to because you’re a nigger.’
“At that moment, it all made sense
to me. I finally realized that everything had happened because I
was black. I remember feeling a little stunned. It was all
about the color of my skin.”
CLASS OF ONE -
Online Focus - PBS Newshour - Transcript
Early Life/School -
Bridges on "Ruby Bridges" -
A Conversation with Ruby Bridges Hall -- PBS February 18, 1997