Penny Robinson was born on April 17, 1944 to George and Vicky Robinson. Penny grew up in a town that was borderline of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. In fact, it was north of Louisiana, south of Arkansas, and west of Mississippi. The town was called Yellow Ant. As a child Penny always knew that she was different than everyone else, not because of her dark skin tone or her straight A’s in school, but because she knew that there was more to her than her little town.
Yellow Ant was founded and created as a safe space for blacks and whites and other ethnics to get along with one another. So as Penny grew up to be a young women, she has dated many men of different color and has many friends of different colors. Everyone in the little town accepted one another no questions asked. So despite the fact that George and Vicky begged Penny not to leave their little town, Penny didn’t listen and left their town anyways to go to college and get a higher education. The world outside of Yellow Ant was nothing as she expected.
During Penny’s first year at Spelman College, Penny was spat on by white men. White men telling her that she was nothing but a women and women should be kept at home cooking for their husbands. White men telling her that she will never succeed in getting a degree and that she will never be able to teach at a white school because of her skin tone. White men calling her the n word telling her to go back home to where she came from because she was not ready for reality. Penny didn’t understand why they were treating her like that as she grew up with white people. She always believed that the world was equal due to the diversity of her little town, Yellow Ant.
As traumatizing as it was for Penny to go through these experiences, it motivated her even more to continue to pursue her career in teaching and fighting for civil rights. Penny participated in many sit ins and was arrested quite a few times. But despite those obstacles Penny got her degree. She continued to fight for her rights to teach at any school she wanted besides teaching at a black school. She believed that she worked so hard to get to where she was and should not be shot down, she believed that she had the rights. Eventually, she got what she wanted and became one of the best teachers out there. She also became the first women and the first women of color to be on the State Board of Education.
Many women of color were inspired because of Penny and continued to fight for their rights as well. Women of color were tired of being degraded by men, so many of them pursued an education and found out that it was possible for them to make it in the world on their own. Penny was a voice that helped others gain a voice.