The Dialog of Dr.Maya Angelou and Ruby Bridges
Dr. A: Hello there!
Ruby: Hey, and who are you?
Dr. A: Dr. Maya Angelou, and you are?
Ruby: Oh! I am Ruby Bridges. Aren't you the author of " I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"?
Dr. A: Yes, I am! Are you the Ruby Bridges that was the first African American to enter the all white school in the South?
Ruby: Yes! I love your book, and I may have read it about ten times already!
Dr. A: Thank you! I also read your book " Through My Eyes". It was very touching.
Ruby: Why thank you! I did not know that someone important as Maya Angelou would read my book.
Dr. A: Of course I would read your book! Have you ever met Malcolm X? He was an inspiring fellow, though he often resorted to violence.
Ruby: No, I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I heard he was an extraordinary man.
Dr. A: Yes, he was. I am still mourning his death, he was assassinated. I met him in 1964, while I was abroad in Ghana.
Ruby: Yes, his death was a pity. Tell me more about yourself, Dr. Maya Angelou.
Dr. A: Well, I was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. I spent a few years abroad in Africa. After I met Malcolm X, I returned to America from Ghana to help build his new Organization of African American Unity. Shortly after my arrival, Malcolm was assassinated.
Ruby: You were abroad in Africa?
Dr. A: Yes, I taught at the University of Ghana's School of Music and Drama. After Malcolm's death, I met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a kind, peaceful man. He was assassinated in 1968, on my birthday.
Ruby: On your birthday? I'm so sorry for your loss.
Dr. A: Don't be, he accomplished great things in his life. After Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, I started working on "I Know why the Caged Bird Sings" with James Baldwin. It was published in 1970. Now, Ruby Bridges, tell me about your life.
Ruby: Well, my full name is Ruby Nell Bridges. I was born on September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi. I grew up on a farm with my parents and grandparents.When I became 4 years old, my parents decided to move to New Orleans, hoping for a better life in a big city. My father got a job in a gas station, and my mom got night jobs to help support the family.
Dr. A: Wow! How interesting! Did you have any brothers or sisters?
Ruby: Yeah, after 2 years, I got two brothers and a younger sister.
Dr. A: That's interesting! I have a brother. I always depend on him. I attended public schools in Arkansas and California. Where did you go to school? I bet you went first to the all white school, am I right?
Ruby: Well not exactly. I first started going to all black segregated school. While the last minutes of kindergarten, I was chosen to take a test determining whether I could attend all white school. The test was written difficult. The idea was if all the African-American children failed the test, New Orleans schools might be able to stay segregated for a while longer. My father was afraid that I would be I trouble if I passed, but my mother believed that if I passed I could get a better education. Mother convinced him to let me go and attend this test.
Dr. A: Wow! I am happy that you where able to pass the test.
Ruby: Why thank you! I heard that you where a great author and that you published many books. I am willing to read them, and I am so happy I met you and told you that.
Dr. A: Thank you! I would love it if you could sign my copy of "Through My Eyes" someday.
Ruby: Sure! I would be delighted to.
Dr. A: Have you ever met a Civil Rights leader?
Ruby: Yes! I have met Martin Luther of course. We worked together. He was a very nice man and generous too. Everyone knows he made a big difference. I also have met Norman Rockwell. He actually painted me. It turned out pretty nice and good. It was even hung in the White House. President Obama invited me to see how the painting turned out . It was awesome. He is a very kind person. And at last I have met Rosa Parks. She was a political ally for me. She stood up for me and was very kind.
Dr. A: You are really lucky to have a painting of you in the White House. Was it easy to go to an all white school?
Ruby: No, not really. All of the white kids despised me and didn't really accept me.
Dr. A: That is sad. I hope they accepted you before the end of the year.
Ruby: Not really. There actually were only a few kids in my class. The parents of the white kids didn't want them going to school with me.
Dr. A: How mean of them. Adults are supposed to be mature.
Ruby:Yes, they are supposed to be.
Dr. A: It's fantastic! I mean what you have done to our world. You showed people that you were patient and mature.You handled everything by yourself and never had a friend? That's really sad.
Ruby: Thanks ,and yes it is! But it does not really matter since I am all grown up now. Its great what you have done too. You wrote wonderful poems about what was happening at that time. Its sad though.
Dr. A: Thank you!
Ruby: Tell me, have you met anyone else from the Civil Rights?
Dr. A: Yes, I met Martin Luther King Jr. I was the first one to meet him. Him and I worked together a lot. He was an inspiring man. He is the reason we now live fairly.
Ruby: Your right. He was an grateful, generous, and kind man. Who else did you meet?
Dr. A: Well, Malcolm X. I helped him in his work. I think those two and you.
Ruby: Hahaha. I am impressed by your story. Its very sad and touching. It made me cry. I do know that you where the first African American woman to publish a non-fictional book. You also published a lot of books and they must have a lot of poetry and feelings. You write poems right?
Dr. A: Yes, I do! I love poetry and they make my life easier and better. It makes me alive.
Ruby: It nice to hear such a thing from you. I should love it if you told me one of your quotes.
Dr. A: Sure, here is one: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." It is a quote from " I know why the Caged Bird Sings"
Ruby: Hmmm! Nice. I love it. It gives a really passionate way to understand the bird. I really love how you write in your own feelings.
Dr.A: Thank you! It is great to meet someone who enjoys and understands my quotes. It was nice meeting you.
Ruby: Thank you! It was nice meeting you too, Dr. Angelou.
Dr.A: Please, call me Maya. Goodbye, and have a good day!
Ruby: You too, Maya!