November 16, 1960 a 6 year old girl became the first black child to attend an all white Southern school. The most iconic photo that represented her struggle is a black and white image of her being escorted by deputy marshals. Her name was Ruby Bridges. During a photo walk with the Fellowship program. I was walking like I normally do, head down and camera in hand. I came across what looked like an essay. There was no name or date just titled "Ruby Bridges Goes to School." The name sounded familiar but I knew nothing about her. Upon research I realized "hey, she's kind of important."
I wanted to photograph this paper the way I found it. On the ground and a few leaves over it. I could have moved those leaves or hidden the ripped bottom corner to make this image more appealing but I decided to capture all of its imperfections. An abandoned paper on an important figure in history.
I've never heard the name Ruby Bridges in school nor have I ever learned of her story. I decided to ask 18 of my friends if they knew who Ruby Bridges was. 7 of them responded yes and knew her story. 2 of them heard of her name and the rest had no clue who she was. I then asked a follow up question "Do you know who Kim Kardashian is? I received 15 yes's, 2 Duh's and one "Is that a serious question?
Just like this deteriorating paper, history is being forgotten and covered up. Those who have paved the way to make today's world much easier for future generations are unknown and have become less important than the Kardashians of the world. I wanted to take this time to remember the brave individuals who have struggled, fought and persevered for us. If Ruby Bridges didn't put on a brave face and inspire the world, would I be here today? Would I have attended the schools I did and received an education? Without her, this image wouldn't exist and my words wouldn't mean anything. I hope my photo inspires you to learn about our past and what people have done for future generations.