This is Ruby Bridges. One of my children brought home a worksheet about her from school, and I realized that I already knew her story, and if you're an artist, you may recognize her too. Norman Rockwell painted her walk to school, escorted by federal marshals, in 1964 as "The Problem We All Live With."
It really hit me in the gut reading about her again, and probably even more now that my kids are her age - how incredibly brave she was to go to school in the face of all that opposition, and just as a little six year old. I don't know how her parents managed to let her leave the house every day! This is the part of the worksheet that really got me:
"Many white parents took their children out of school. I was the only child in my class. My teacher, Mrs. Henry, was my best friend."
That just kills me. The incredible thing is that years later, she went back to the same school and volunteered there. Forty years later, she and her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Henry, now speak to other parents, educators, and students. I find Ruby and her bravery so inspiring.
Who is inspiring you today?