7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #716: Featuring This Is Your Time

h1 November 8th, 2020 by jules


I don’t have illustrations for you today, dear Imps, as I normally do. But I want to take a moment to highlight a book that will be on shelves next week — This Is Your Time (Random House), written by civil rights activist and icon Ruby Bridges.

This is a short (64 pages) and small but powerful book. Ruby Bridges, as you know if you know your American history, was the first Black student—at the age of six—to desegregate an all-white elementary school. We’ve all seen the images of Ruby being escorted by four federal marshals on her first day at William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. Ruby was the subject of the Norman Rockwell painting on this book’s cover.

Bridges, who has established the Ruby Bridges Foundation to provide leadership training for children and community leaders, presents the book as a letter. On page one, accompanied by a black and white photo of her as a child, she addreses “the young peacemakers of America.” She looks back to her childhood (“I did not yet know that I had stepped into the history books”), recalling what it was like to walk through crowds of people “yelling, screaming threats, throwing things at six-year-old me.” The book has a generous amount of photos, including a striking one of parents outside her school, protesting integration, with a coffin holding a black doll.

She writes briefly about her parents (with a particular focus on her father) and pays special tribute to Barbara Henry, the one teacher who didn’t quit because of her presence in the school and her partner in education. The book then shifts to show Ruby at work in schools today and stories she shares about children she’s met over the past twenty-five years. “I have not witnessed hatred or bigotry when I’ve looked into your young eyes,” she writes. Racism is a “grown-up disease,” she stresses. She writes about violence against Black people but also protests that are happening today; people out there making change happen; and the resilience of young people.

The book is dedicated to Congressman John Lewis: “Job well done, our good and faithful servant!” she writes. “The torch is passed!”

So, find this one and share it with the youngest readers you know. Keep that light going.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’s Kicks * * *

Well, in the middle of working on this post, I see this at the New York Times, and I can’t stop crying from happiness. I’ve just run to hug my family and cry some more. I think I’ll just leave this here. It represents more than seven kicks, to say the least:



What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #716: Featuring This Is Your Time

  1. What a perfect book for today. What a day yesterday was, and how lovely to wake up today, knowing the future looks more than hopeful.

    My kicks:
    1) Ruby Bridges is on Instagram & thanked artist Bria Goeller (a fellow Louisiana native!) for her art incorporating that same Norman Rockwell image with Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHUpZ8KBE0Q/
    2) Joy. All the texts, calls, virtual celebrating yesterday. So many happy tears.
    3) This collaborative Post-Election Dance Party playlist started by artist Lucy Bellwood. I am loving discovering fun artists I was not familiar with who are fun to dance to: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0ygf62EVq0jzaDa26RyYgf?si=yD5QZpfHT_erDye_YqtOlQ
    4) Seeing all the videos of celebrations and dancing in the streets. I could not get enough of them yesterday. All that spontaneous joy was so beautiful, still is.
    5) Dogs will be in the White House again! And Major will be the very first rescue dog to live in the White House.
    6) His Dark Materials is back tonight.
    7) This t-shirt, which commemorates the press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping with Gritty driving a riding mower, profits are going to the campaigns for the Georgia senate runoffs and Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight: https://shopclass.threadless.com/designs/four-seasons-total-landscaping/mens
    7.5) John Lewis and his work, his inspiration and his passing the torch to all the grassroots organizers who helped us get out of the darkness.

    Have a wonderful wonderful week Imps!

  2. Hello, Imps! Hello, Ruby! Here’s to resilience and perseverance and positive change. In fact, those could be three kicks this week, alongside compassion, empathy, hope, and truth. 🙂 Happy new week, everyone!!

  3. Thanks for visiting, you two! Rachel, I love that image and I guess my timing is good. I’m with you on kick #4. So excited about the rescue dog too! And, ooh! I didn’t know tonight was HDM! Thank you for alerting me. (I think it’s tonight on BBC but next week at HBO, right??) Hear! Hear! to your last kick!

    Little Willow! WOOT! Yes to compassion, empathy, hope, and truth!

    Have an excellent week, you all. May the parts of your brain filled with anxiety over Trump be free for other stuff now.

  4. Little Willow – yes to all your kicks!

    Jules – you are correct – I jumped the gun on HDM – its on BBC tonight, back for us next week.

    Have a great week y’all!

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.