Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges, 1960. Library of Congress Image.

Ruby Bridges, 1960. Library of Congress Image.

Kyleigh Edwards, Staff writer

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Black History Month begins February 1st and ends February 28th.  Black History Month was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and was originally named “Negro History Week”.  Black History Month is a celebration of achievements by African-Americans recognizing them for their role in U.S. history. Black History Month inspired many schools and communities around the world, they even have celebrations for it.

 

Some African-American leaders we know of are Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou and Gwendolyn Brookes, who is a poet, author, and teacher. They are important African American role models. They all changed the world for us; African-Americans citizens can now vote, go through the same door, and have the same opportunities as everyone else.

 

One role model that I truly admire is Ruby Bridges; she made it possible for African Americans to go to an all white school. Ruby Bridges went to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans at the age of 6. She and her family were harrassed, threatened, and feared that they would be hurt. Ruby Bridges wasn’t scared though, she was brave and came everyday like it was nothing.

 

In November 1960, she and her family integrated to the South and attended an all white elementary school.  She was born September 8, 1954, as the oldest of five children, and her mother and father were farmers from Tylertown, Mississippi.

 

Bridges’ parents were debating about whether they should let her attend the all white school. Her family was scared for her safety, but on the other hand her mother wanted her to have an good education. Every day when she walked to school, she had four people lead her into the building among all the screaming and threatening.

 

After she was lead into the school, she had a teacher, Barbara Henry, who made sure that Bridges always had a good day. In fact, every other teacher in the building refused to take the time to give her an education. Ruby also experienced physical violence by her own principal, teachers, and peers. Despite this, she came with a smile everyday no matter what.

 

She’s a great inspiration for me and many others. I appreciate her for changing the stigma that surrounded the African American community and I admire her bravery.