Fifty years ago, it fell to a little girl named Ruby to be the first black person to attend William Frantz Public School in New Orleans, Louisiana. It's normal now for people of all skin colors to go to school together, but sadly, in 1960, there were still many ignorant people who thought that white-skinned people were better than others and should not have to share their schools. Even after federal courts ordered that public schools be integrated, some states, including Louisiana, objected. It was a dangerous time for African Americans in the United States, especially in the south. Some of the white people who believed black people should remain separate from white people did hateful or even violent things.
Some of them threw bricks and rocks at windows of passing cars. Some of them left crosses burning in black neighborhoods to warn them to "stay in their place." Ruby was only six years old and had no idea what was in store for her. She had to be escorted to school by armed federal marshals. As she entered and left the school, she was yelled at by white people who objected to her being there. Ruby was lonely because she was the only student in her first grade class, and only one teacher at the school was willing to be her teacher. Ruby's father lost his job because he let her attend a white school, and she later found out that some relatives feared he would be killed. Ruby's teacher, Barbara Henry, came to love the brave, smart little girl, and considered her a hero. Read Ruby's story and look at striking black and white photographs from that turbulent era in Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges, with articles and interviews compiled and edited by Margo Lundell. This book received multiple honors and appears on many lists of best books for young people, and is recommended for grades 3 and up.