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Ruby Bridges      

Civil Rights Activist & First African-American Child to Integrate a White Southern Elementary School

Ruby Bridges is a civil rights activist who at the age of six was the first Black student to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans.

She was born in Mississippi in 1954, the same year the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision ordering the integration of public schools. Her family later moved to New Orleans, where on November 14, 1960, Bridges began attending William Frantz Elementary School, single-handedly initiating the desegregation of public education in New Orleans.

Her walk to the front door of the school was immortalized in Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With, in Robert Coles’ book The Story of Ruby Bridges, and in the Disney movie Ruby Bridges. Published in November 2020, THIS IS YOUR TIME is her first book in over twenty years following the publication of her award-winning autobiography, Through My Eyes.

She established the Ruby Bridges Foundation to provide leadership training programs that inspire youth and community leaders to embrace and value the richness of diversity. Bridges is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NAACP Martin Luther King Award, the Presidential Citizens Medal, and honorary doctorate degrees from Connecticut College, College of New Rochelle, Columbia University Teachers College, and Tulane University. She recently named one of 100 iconic Women of the Century by USA Today.

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