The true story of Ruby Dee Bridges as told by Robert Coles, and then by Bridges herself, in a wonderful book about her brave childhood. Kids are taught to hate -- it doesn't come natural.
The child psychologist pulled off his glasses
and said, "I just don't understand
They gave me a grant to study those children
who live under stress in this land
So I've studied conditions and made it my mission
to interview kids in distress
And after 26 kids who have lived on the skids
one child makes my research a mess!
She says No! when I ask her Do you have bad dreams?
"No!" when I ask her if she cries or screams
No lack of confidence, sleeps through the night,
And when I ask why, she says she's doing what's right
"According to all of my research on children
they're sposed to have ulcers and pains
When they're haunted or taunted or otherwise stunted
subject to exceptional strains,
3 long school years, she walked calmly through jeers
and the sticks and the stones of the crowd
Facing hurt and harm, on a marshal's arm
just to go where she was allowed.
"Well, her name's Hattie Mae, and I want to say
that she changed that town ? no small job.
For she risked her life, lived with months of strife
just to get into school past that mob
With her smooth brown skin and determined chin
she led the way for us all
& when 3 years had passed & she kept coming back
soon all the town's kids filled the halls!"
The child psychologist folded his glasses
and said,"Hattie Mae's doing fine; she's got
black friends & white friends & no special problems
cause children know no color line;
And as for my research, a child made me search
to see what my life was made of;
For the boys and the girls will remake this ole world
with their hope and their courage and love!"