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Thank You, Ruby Bridges
by Jesse L.

Dear Ruby,

When I was little I lived on a military base in Cuba. There, no one said horrid things about any one’s skin color. Everyone relied on each other and got along. I never thought much about anyone being different. When we moved to Indiana, I was confused because I heard people talking about someone being “black” or “white.” My sister happens to have dark skin, and was harassed by some girls who looked just like her, because they said she was “acting white.” I did not understand. We moved schools and things were better until this year, when after watching a Black History Month movie, one of my closest friends started saying how “his people” were really mean to “my people.” We are no longer friends.

I am part white, black, and Mexican. My mom tells me I am the best of all worlds, but I hear different things from people at school. I work hard and try to get good grades. Yet, it is frustrating when I hear people make racist remarks. I hear black kids and white kids say mean things. It leaves me feeling like I am in the middle, alone and confused.

Racism is wrong. There is no rule that says because you have white skin, you have intellect, or that if you have black skin, you are dreadful. One awful thing about racism is that if someone says something ghastly and you talk back about it, they can physically hurt you. I believe we are all equal and no one is better than another. I will never be a racist!!

Jesse L., 4th grade, Indiana

"Thank You, Ruby Bridges"

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