Who from our history inspires you? Rosa Parks? Helen Keller? Ruby Bridges? Abraham Lincoln? Someone from our more recent history? Someone that’s making history today? There are many sources of inspiration in history books.
Rosa Parks, as a black woman, became famous by not giving up her seat on a bus so a white passenger could sit down. She was arrested for this because it was a time in our history when racial segregation was the law. Whites had the law and police officers favoring/supporting them. Rosa Parks was not the first black person to do this, but she became a face of the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks worked as a seamstress and for the NAACP. She lost her job as a seamstress and moved from Alabama to Detroit, Michigan. She found work in Detroit and continued to work with the NAACP. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and Rosa Parks became two of the symbols of the Civil Rights Movement. She later worked for John Conyers, an African-American U.S. Representative.
Like me, you may remember Helen Keller by stories about her running around her dining room table throwing a temper tantrum or maybe learning the word water with Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller became an author, political activist and lecturer after working with and learning from Anne Sullivan. She grew up to work for and champion women’s rights, suffrage, and labor rights. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree as well. She won many awards and raised a lot of money for the American Foundation for the Blind.
Ruby Bridges is a philanthropist. She is known for what happened when she was just six years old however. Her parents volunteered her to be a student in an all white school in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NAACP was running a program to integrate the New Orleans school system. On her first day and many days after she faced angry protestors shouting and throwing things at Ruby. United States Federal Marshalls had to escort her into school. White children were pulled out of the school. She was taught alone due to a lack of classmates. Her father lost his job. Her mother could no longer shop at their local grocery store due to the store’s refusal. Other family members suffered injustices. There were white people who helped and supported them. As an adult she first worked as a travel agent then as a full-time parent of 4 sons. She went on to form and chair the Ruby Bridges Foundation. This groups works so that differences are tolerated, respected, and appreciated.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. He is heralded as one of our best presidents. He was our leader through the Civil War. He did many important things while serving and preserving our Union. He was instrumental in abolishing slavery, strengthening our federal government, and modernizing our economy. He was instrumental in furthering the Republican Party. He oversaw and made key decisions in the war. He worked for equal rights, liberty, and democracy. More states were admitted to the Union while he was president. Abraham Lincoln was an incredible president.
There are many people and events to be inspired by. Think or read about an example when you need a lift.