This Mother And Educator Fought For Equal Education

US Marshals with young Ruby Bridges
Shonda Buchanan
March 20, 2021

When Ruth Batson’s daughter handed her the flimsy textbook, it began to fall apart in her hands. She nearly cried. 

How could their school system expect students to learn from these tattered materials and in cold, dilapidated classrooms? She knew exactly why.

They DIDN’T expect Black children to learn. Black students and their needs were being ignored in Boston schools – but they were messing with the wrong woman! 

A mother and an educator herself, Batson decided to take a stand.

She’d organized the Parents Federation of Greater Boston, leading a protest at Boston’s City Hall to demand change – and when she joined the Boston NAACP branch, they named her chair of the Public Education Sub-Committee. She led the METCO program, which bussed students from Black neighborhoods to areas with better schools.

There was no way she was going to let status quo rule the day!

Batson’s refusal to let her children suffer in under-resourced schools while white children got quality books, materials, buildings, and teachers became a fight for all our children’s rights!

When we challenge institutionalized racism, no matter how impossible it feels, we can change our lives for the better and receive services we deserve – to not just survive, but thrive!

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