I was born in 1994 into a family that never made any kind of deal about different nationalities – or races as they are sometimes called. They just didn’t matter. Because of this, I as a kid never really realized that racism was a thing. I mean, I knew about the War Between the States and the idea of racial superiority as it existed in that century – and even that it trickled down into this one. But I didn’t realize just how much the Civil Rights movement had to overcome when it got going in the 1960s.
This book, Through My Eyes is the story of one of the first black students to be integrated into a formerly all-white school. In this story we get a glimpse of the world of segregation literally through the eyes of that girl, the author of this book, Ruby Bridges. We feel the antagonism of the crowds which mobbed her school and the fear caused by their violent displays. And, really, I think what stood out to me more than anything else was the violence – the ugly flaring of tempers and truly appalling attitude taken throughout the whole integration process.
Naysayers are quoted as referring to Ruby and other negroes as ‘niggers’.
Loads of pictures are included of Ruby and the crowds themselves as well as other key figures in the drama. A picture is included of a Mardi Gras parade.
Through My Eyes does not try to soft pedal the violence exhibited and threatened by the mobs. Parents will want to read through the book to judge whether their child can handle the intensity.
Conclusion. A fascinating look at pre-integrated America.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret