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English 101 Speech Communities

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Salome Edwards

English 101

Dr. Green

November 15, 2013

Bombingham Essay

        Ruby Bridges was just six years old when she became the first African American child to integrate an all-white southern school. Ruby had to be escorted by four U.S. marshals and her mother due to violent mobs. She was one out of six African American students who had passed the test to attend the all-white school. Before Ruby started school, the Louisiana State Legislature had found many ways to fight against the federal court orders and slowed the integration process. On Ruby’s first day of school large crowds of people gathered in front of the school yelling and throwing things at her. She spent her first couple of days in the principal’s office because the white teachers didn’t want to teach her. Finally one teacher agreed to teach Ruby. Ruby wasn’t allowed out to recess or allowed in cafeteria. When Ruby needed to use the restroom she had to be escorted by a marshal. Ruby’s family suffered from her attending the all-white school. Her father lost his job, her grandparents were sent off the land that they had sharecropped for over 25 years and the grocery store they had shopped at banned them. However others of both African American and Caucasian began to show support. Ruby Bridges stood up for freedom and justice at the age of six but at that time she didn’t realize how much of a difference her courage would make.

        During that time of Ruby Bridges courageous act the civil rights movement was going on also. The goal of the civil rights movement was to end segregation and discrimination against African Americans. I believe this movement had its pros and cons to help African Americans. When the movement first started it was a nonviolent movement trying to inform whites about the day to day struggle African Americans had to go through. As the movement grew larger the violence also grew. Innocent children and adults were killed and locked up in jail, and family homes and businesses being burned down. I disagree that African Americans have freedom or justice because they are still dealing with racism and prejudice people. I believe that all the fighting and killings were all in vain. Some people may disagree with me because others may think that the civil rights movement made a big difference. In reality it did but not as much as people make it seem. African Americans are still dealing with the struggle of being judged by the color of their skin or their appearance and not by who they actually are.

        Throughout the novel Bombingham it taught us many different things. The main focus of the novel was to teach us about the struggles for freedom and justice. For us to get a better understanding the story was told from a child’s point of view and the author used metaphors comparing two subjects. The crowd of African Americans was compared to a herd of sheep and the policemen were compared to shepherds. Uncle Reed stated, “Problem is, it’s not just the good that you have to deal with, but the bad, too. People can help you, and they can hurt you. People you don’t even know can destroy you….” (130) Bombingham had several struggles of freedom and justice in the book. One incident was when the grandfather was arrested and he didn’t even match the description of the criminal.(136) Even though the grandfather was the total opposite of the criminal he was still prosecuted for the crime. In this novel it teaches us that the struggle for freedom and justice comes in many different ways. The father was a well-dressed, educated gentlemen. He was also a teacher, but to the officer he was just another African American trying to act like he was better than the rest. (261-263) Bombingham was a unique way to show people how the struggle was through a child’s eyes and how it could affect others.

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