I was really contemplating whether or not I wanted to blog about the inauguration. I like to think of my blog as more of a lighthearted and fun space, and there’s absolutely nothing fun about the man who will be occupying office (for at least what I am hoping is only) the next four years. However, I feel as a politically and socially aware black woman, I must say something.
I haven’t been marching in the streets for a variety of valid reasons, but I don’t think people should be knocked for doing so. Protesting is probably the single most American thing you could ever do. It is not only your legal right, but your moral right. So exercise it, if you feel called to do so.
With that being said, I want to remind everyone that protesting doesn’t always look like marching in the streets. In 1960, Ruby Bridges, who was only six years old at the time, was the first black student to attend an all-white public elementary school in the South. She spent the entire first day of school in the principal’s office because so many parents had pulled their children out of class and teachers refused to teach her. However, one woman, Mrs. Henry, stepped up to the plate and taught Ruby. Most days it was only Ruby and Mrs. Henry in class because white parents did not want their children in the same classroom as this brilliant black girl. And Ruby faced taunting and tormenting everyday. But Ruby was an activist long before she could even understand the concept.
As for Ruby’s family, Ruby’s father lost his job. They were banned from their grocery store. And her grandparents were kicked off the land they farmed for 25 years. But they found community from black and white parents who sent their children to Ruby’s school making things a little better and moving forward with integration. They still felt encouraged and hopeful in even such terrible times. Going to school. Getting an education. That was their protest.
I think it’s beautiful that people want to march. And we have justifiable reason to march. Your voice can be a very powerful tool. We just need something to complement the marching, something to come after it’s all done. Who is going to be our Ruby Bridges? And what is our Ruby Bridges standing for? Don’t let marching be the only thing that you do. Your activism is far greater.