Reading festival aimed at promoting unity

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A reading festival will be held to promote unity, according to a National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award recipient.

Ruby Bridges is using her childhood to help children in Memphis.

Bridges said Memphis is like her second home, and she hopes to continue the festival for years to come. She hopes to continue to encourage lifelong reading among families and children.

For the second year, the National Civil Rights Museum is partnering with Bridges for a reading festival.

"The reason why we started this was to celebrate Brown versus The Board and that's about education," Bridges said.

The festival highlights Bridges' legacy advocating for equal rights and tolerance.

Bridges has an iconic Norman Rockwell painting on display in her home titled "The Problem We All Live With."

It illustrates the racial slurs and hatred 6-year-old Bridges experienced as the first black child to integrate into an all white elementary school in Louisiana in 1960.

"I believe that what we're faced with is really good and evil," Bridges said. "None of our babies are born knowing anything about disliking each other."

Bridges said her parents couldn't afford to buy her books, but as a child she anonymously received books through the mail.

It impacted her love for reading.

She said through this festival, her activism, and writing, she aims to promote unity.

"The best way in my mind for me to do that is in schools," Bridges said. "To allow them to come together and be educated together, to play together."

The reading festival is Saturday, and it's free and open to the public from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

There will be book giveaways and tons of activities for children.

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