The Problem We All Live With

The beginning of this article is written from the perspective of Ruby Bridges, the first African American, to attend a white school.

Inspired by the painting “The Problem We All Live With” by Norman Rockwell.


Loud, distinct voices of white people echo through my memory as I walk down the sidewalk. The city block walls sketched with the word "nigger" in significant, bold writing. My Ivory dress flowed in the wind against my smooth ebony skin. My books were noticed in my left hand, while anger and confusion were forced to hide in my right.

One foot in front of the other, and one breath at a time as my intelligent black feet strategically press against the concrete. Question after question embarked through my curious brain. The main issue that occurred is the one I'll never get an answer to: Why?

Every day, every moment, every second of my life determined by the perception another has of me. Excuse me, the understanding of a white person. Surrounded, supposedly "protected" and educated by those who are un-wanting of my existence. It's ironic. I'm stuck, punished for the way God made me. It's like he made everyone in his perfect image and made me black by mistake. My black friends and I were praying, wishing, and questioning simply why God made us black, and if he could change us back.

I could cry you a river of tears, but I won’t. The world doesn’t even want that from me. My cotton pillow is the only place my tears feel welcome.

I could be the smartest black girl in the class, and I am, but the world doesn't even want me to get an education.

I could tell you every story of every black child, but the world doesn't even want me to live. 

Sad but all true. Matter of fact, I wish I was telling a lie. 

The Problem We All Live With.