What does Ruby Bridges have to say about faith and racism? For the past four years, the Pepperdine Bible Lectures has invited several guests from outside the fellowship of churches of Christ to share their faith experiences. Ruby Bridges is the latest to accept our invitation to share her experience of life in America and the first hand account of what it is like when faith faces racism and wins.
Born in the same year as the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (1954), Bridges was enrolled in an all-white school in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960. When every other student in her class was withdrawn by their parents so they wouldn’t have to attend with a black child, she was taught alone by a teacher from Boston, Massachusetts, Barbara Henry, whom she still describes as her best friend.
In the midst of racial hatred, she prayed constantly for those who threatened to harm her and her family—echoing the love and forgiveness she learned so deeply from her church.
Speaking from my own experience, the church has remained largely silent over this issue. My own faith walk was nearly derailed when the church I grew up in split over pure racism. That is a story for another time. We must confront the reality of it again and again. Ruby Bridges will bring the issue to forefront in a straightforward way on Wednesday, May 4
8:45-9:45 PM, Firestone Fieldhouse at Pepperdine University.
To learn more about the Pepperdine Bible Lectures and to register, visit pepperdine.edu/biblelectures.