Thank You, Ruby Bridges
by Kristen J.
Dear Mrs. Bridges,
I remember that when I was 2, the scariest thing happened to me. My mommy told me that I could not sleep with my light on any more. I was terrified that night. I was convinced that a kid-eating monster or a blood-thirsty werewolf was coming to get me.
You went through a similar situation, except your monsters were real. I do not know how you summed up the power to walk by those mobs of people looking to take you down like a pack of wolves everyday. The most memorable things in your book, “Through my Eyes,” for me however, was the feeling I got when I read that people would spit, shout names, and not allow their children to go to school because of you. I come from a family where my dad is African-American and my mom is Caucasian. I hate it when kids use degrading names towards people of African-American ethnicity. It gives me a bad feeling inside. It is even worse when they use degrading terms, and they do not realize my ethnicity because of my light skin color. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to go through that.
I still can’t forget that feeling I had when I finished your book. I was sad for all that you had to go through. Sad, for those hateful people who never learned to accept you. Sad that my country was once a horrible, segregated monster. I was also happy that those times have ended. I thank God that our country had you and the other kids who helped change our sadly barbaric ways. You have taught me courage to stand up for what I believe in, pride in my culture, and strength to keep moving when times get rough. You helped smooth out the bumpy road of our history. Now whenever I am in a situation where kids say hurtful names, I think of you. Your courage gives me courage to say something to that person and tell them that’s it is not OK to say those words.
You have opened my eyes through your book. Thank you for doing that. If there ever comes a time again where the American people need to stand up for what is right, we will look to you, Mrs. Bridges, for courage.
Thank you again.
Kristen J., 6th grade, New Jersey