STORIES
Women

Ruby Bridges & Aaliyah

by Xaida from Sheridan Tech

Aaliyah singer, dancer, actress, and model. (http://www.aaliyah.com/)
Aaliyah singer, dancer, actress, and model. (http://www.aaliyah.com/)

Women already had it hard in life and especially black women. These two women that are in my story today represent two different aspects of influence. One showed the world about inequality/freedom in the education system. And the other? She changed/showed us the power she had with music and influenced us in many great ways. They both made a difference in their own ways. I present to you Ruby Bridges (civil rights activist) & Aaliyah (musician).

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was born on September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi. Ruby Bridges became a symbol of the civil rights movements at just six years old. She was the youngest of a group of African American students to integrate schools in the American South. "Ruby, being the first black American to integrate William Frantz School paved the way for others." (https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/ruby-bridges/) In the beginning she didn't understand what all these things (chaos) were about. Until one day, this child was rejected for her friendship because of her race. This is when she began to understand more. She participated in equality because she was the only black person in her all white school. She didn't invent anything but she did cause controversy. She paved the way for other black students to enroll in the same school as white students the following year. After her brother was murdered in 1993, Ruby began to volunteer at the school her brother's kids went to. Then she later became a parent-community liaison. Ruby was basically forced because her mother was convincing the father into letting her enroll in the school. After a while being in the school she learned and changed history. Just a little girl, different, without having to do much but just go to school yet she accomplished so much more.

With Aaliyah's style and grace combined with the power she had with music. Aaliyah was born on January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. Her real full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton. Aaliyah has impacted the world through her music, style, work ethic, and personality itself. At a very young age she touched and helped others in need. With the help of her family and other people, even after she passed, they created the Aaliyah Memorial Fund which contributes to different charities that Aaliyah wanted to help. She didn't only want fame but also to get an education so she graduated from Detroit High School of Performing Arts with a 4.0 GPA while still being an artist. Ruby Bridges and Aaliyah are very different but very similar in a matter. Both women believed in making a difference and both as started at a young age. Ruby Bridges more supports the civil rights side while Aaliyah supports and influences the music side. Both women though still influenced and made a lot of good changes for people not only in our country, but around the world. With seeing everything that has gone around her Aaliyah wanted to do something different that would put a mark on the world. She was a young women who at 19 performed her song on the Oscar stage. She made music that everyone can enjoy and understand with her voice that soothes your ears. With Ruby Bridges seeing and finally understanding the things she had to go through in her community, for just being a black girl in a white school, she accomplished making all black children possible to attend the same schools as white children.

These women were so important. One contributed into black people attending the same school as white children: "In 1999, Bridges formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation, headquartered in New Orleans. The foundation promotes the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences. Through education and inspiration, the foundation seeks to end racism and prejudice."  (http://www.biography.com/people/ruby-bridges-475426#recent-contributions) The other made music that people of all ages can enjoy, and influence people that at a young age anything is possible if you put your mind to it. "The beneficiaries and charities include the Agape Christian Center, Alzheimer's Association of Los Angeles, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Detroit School of Arts, EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women, Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research, Harlem Breast Cancer Center, Hofstra University, Jenna Druck Foundation, Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Alzheimer's Association, National Breast Cancer Coalition, National Kidney Foundation, Revlon/UCLA Breast Center, Sacred Heart Parish, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Step Up Women's Network." With her foundation that was created, she and the people around still help others today even when she's not here. (http://www.aaliyah.com/community/charities.html)

Ruby Bridges at her all-white school in 1960. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/sites/default/f (This was taken by a photographer in 1960.))
Ruby Bridges at her all-white school in 1960. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/sites/default/f (This was taken by a photographer in 1960.))

Both women did so many things during their different times, impacted so many people in ways you can't imagine. These women both had a gift that put a mark on the world. We remember both of these very important women even still today. Ruby Bridges is yet still alive, married with three kids that are all grown up. And as for Aaliyah, well her time was cut short in a tragic plane crash that happened in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. Aaliyah was 22 but everyone felt that she could've accomplished so much more if she were still here.

Page created on 3/29/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/29/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Bibliography

10 Facts, Website. "Aaliyah." [Online] Available http://globalgrind.com/2013/01/16/aaliyah-birthday-facts-you-didnt-know-photos-video/.

Biography, Website. "Ruby Bridges." [Online] Available http://www.biography.com/people/ruby-bridges-475426.

Biography, Website. "Aaliyah." [Online] Available http://www.britannica.com/biography/Aaliyah.

Biography, Website. "Aaliyah." [Online] Available http://www.aaliyah.com/.

Biography, Website. "Ruby Bridges." [Online] Available https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/ruby-bridges/.