Monday, June 11, 2007

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

Through My Eyes is a book by Ruby Bridges about her experiences integrating an all white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Ruby entered the first grade and was the only African American student to integrate that school. This book is filled with very powerful photographs of the protesters she encountered each day. Ruby does an excellent job relaying her thoughts during that time. She tells her story simply, but the photographs speak volumes.

My first reaction to this book was one of sadness. I felt very sad for Ruby and her family because of the ignorance of the segregationists. Mean, hurtful, and dangerous things were said and demonstrated that will leave lasting memories to Ruby and her family. The story of Ruby's courage and determination did leave me feeling hopeful that one day our country will be united in educating our youth, without judging them based on their race.

I have viewed the movie about Ruby Bridges that Disney made and found it to also leave me with similar feelings. Other books that I have read that make excellent connections to this deal with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's.

I would recommend this book to others because it has a very powerful message. Believing in yourself and taking a stand are things that we must teach our students in the complicated world we live in. Reading the story of a little girl who had faith, courage, and determination in spite of all odds gives us hope.


brooke dycus said...

I agree that the pictures are awesome! It also left me with the same overwhelming feeling of sadness for this little girl who was so brave. I could never imagine going through what she went through or what her teacher went through. She was such an amazing little girl. My students love learning about Ruby Bridges and I cannot wait to show them this book!

I love nonfiction said...

The first time I read and viewed the photos in this book, I was horrified! The photographs told so much about the feelings of people of the time. I wonder how they would feel to see themselves in these photographs.

I think Ruby's parents were very brave--I don't know if I would have risked my child's life to help change history. The times were so scary. I admire what Ruby's parents did for the good of all people. They were unselfish.

I hope Ruby did not know how full of hate people were. Unfortunately, there are still people who hate people in much the same way today--have we not learned anything after several decades.

I also admire the teacher for not being intimidated by people protesting outside the school. I hope that all teachers have as much compassion for children as she did.