Reashanda Prevo White and Carolyn Zoe Crowder
We came together to form this Foundation in the name of our dear Ruby, to honor her for the way she lived her life and how she treated others. We were both affected as children by her kindness to us and the role model she supplied. She lived in the hardest of times, through the mean days in Alabama in the 1950's and 1960's, with dignity and grace.
I spent a great amount of time with Grandmother Ruby while I was growing up. I admired her compassionate, kind, positive and gentle nature. She was a key figure in my life and made an immeasurable impact on me. She taught me many values including the importance of treating everyone with respect and treating others how I would like to be treated.
I remember the kindness Grandmother Ruby expressed to everyone. She was very encouraging, supportive and caring. My most memorable experience is accompanying her to Sunday worship service. Afterwards, we would visit the elderly, individuals struggling with poor health as well as others experiencing life challenging situations. Through these experiences, I learned the value of humanity and the importance of service to others.
Ruby worked as a domestic for my family for over twenty years. I formed a much-needed bond with her as she was the only nurturing female in my formative years. I admired Ruby's ability to carry herself with dignity in times of hatred and discrimination in Alabama. She was able to convey a sense of calm, respect for all, and a loving attitude in spite of her personal hardships and fears.
In 1993 I received a grant to make a documentary about Ruby. I had a "million" questions I wanted to ask her because I knew nothing about her history or personal life. As a white child, I was instructed to show no personal interest in Ruby. When I approached her about doing the film she very graciously responded to me saying, "I will answer any question you have."
We spent three days together which were emotional for me and revelatory about her. This film, RUBY, is a part of the film library of the University of Mississippi and is included in the Oral History Project of the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham.