Ruby Bridges Reading Festival | National Civil Rights Museum

Saturday, May 13, 2023  •  10 am–3 pm

museum courtyard
Free & Open to the public

 register to attend

For the sixth year, the museum is proud to partner with civil rights icon Ruby Bridges-Hall to present the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival. Children pre-K through elementary school can receive free books at the festival and enjoy storytelling and entertainment. With their valid school ID, educators can also get free books for their classrooms.

Ruby Bridges will engage with young readers and their families by reading and signing her books Through My Eyes and This Is Your Time.

At six years old, Ruby Bridges-Hall was the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana in 1960 when her parents responded to a request by the NAACP to help integrate the New Orleans school system. The Ruby Bridges Reading Festival celebrates Bridges' legacy of passionately advocating for equal rights, education, and tolerance by bringing together families across racial, economic, and educational backgrounds around reading.

Bridges-Hall stated, “As a child, I never quite understood the power of a story until I found myself at the center of one that catalyzed and emboldened a movement.  Today it is so important that our children learn to believe in the power of their stories and know what a force for change they can be.  This is why I am honored to have the opportunity to share my experience with the wonder of storytelling joined with the beautiful people of Memphis on the holy grounds of the National Civil Rights Museum."

Entertainment includes:

  • Miss B-Loonie (balloon Art for kids)
  • Balloon Grammy (balloon Art for kids)
  • Magic Mr. Nick (magic shows/dance parties)
  • 901 Parties (facepainting)
  • Kids on the Block-Les Passees (puppeteering)
  • Butteriffic Bakery (cookies and juices)
  • 901 Munchies (Italian ice)

Guest readers include:

  • Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, author of children’s books Through My Eyes, Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True StoryThis Is Your Time, and her 2022 release, I Am Ruby Bridges
  • Civil rights icon Joan Trumpauer Mulholland who authored She Stood for Freedom
  • Andrew Maraniss - author of Inaugural Ballers
  • Bellen Woodard - author of More Than Peach
  • Bryan Collier - illustrator of We Are Here
  • Tio Juancho of Cazateatro



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