Ruby Bridges Through Her Eyes

The Moral Universe

Having grown up in the area where Norman Rockwell painted some of his most famous works, I remember not only the actual photographs of the little girl, but also the iconic painting of the girl in the white dress flanked by four federal marshals.

The white dress, white socks and shoes emphasize the darkness of her skin. On the wall behind her is a racial epithet. Smashed tomatoes lie at the foot of the wall. You don’t see the marshals’ heads, but their fists are clenched as if ready for battle.

Friday I had the privilege of hearing the woman who grew out of that little girl speak. Ruby Bridges’ name is writ large in the history of civil rights. As she came onto the stage at Smith College, the crowd jumped to its feet with thunderous applause.

ruby nowMs. Bridges is a reluctant speaker. She never meant to spend the…

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3 Comments

  1. This is heartbreaking, eye opening, and inspiring. What a beautiful little girl she was. And what a beautiful woman she is today.

    1. Yes it is. But I love the way Ms. Pease shared Ms. Bridges five-year-old perspective, that she thought she was going to college. Despite having to be escorted to school and the angry mobs, she didn’t understand what was going on, at the time. I can certainly relate to that. And although I wasn’t on the front lines of school de-segregation, it brought back memories.

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