The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
In 1957 a Judge ordered four African American girls to attend white schools. Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old black girl, was one of those girls. The first day she went to her new school, her mother walked to school with her. United States marshals walked up the steps with them. There was a crowd in front of the school chanting. They were holding up signs saying racist comments and trying to scare Ruby. Ruby had to be taught alone without other students, because the white parents did not want their children to be in the same class as a black child. Every day Ruby prayed for the people on the way to the school, asking God to forgive the mob. One day she forgot to pray for the people so she went back down the school steps and started to pray for them.
This story would be a great book to use as a means to teach the history of desegregation and the civil rights movement. In addition, this book shows students that they are capable of achieving social justice education level five, that they can make a difference even though they are small. After all, Ruby was only six year old and she broke the barrier. Additionally, sometimes acting with grace and being peaceful can triumph over aggression. Drama can be incorporated into this lesson by putting on a play and then having discussions with the students about how they felt when they took on the roles of characters in the play.