Who is your favorite hero? Mine is Ruby Bridges!
Life of Ruby Bridges.
Ruby Bridges went to school at William Elementary School in Orleans, Louisiana. On November 14, 1960 Rudy as the first child to inter grate William Elementary School. Ruby Bridges was protected by four armed federal marshals.
A venomous mob of white racists screamed @ six-year-old Ruby Bridges as she approached the door of the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 14, 1960, her first day of school. As one of the first children to integrate the New Orleans schools, Ruby was protected by four armed federal marshals and her mother. Integration had finally come to New Orleans as a result of a federal court order, and the livid white citizens rebelled by treating a young African American child with hatred rooted in prejudice. Ruby reacted with spirit and grace, becoming a national symbol of the civil rights movement.
Born into poverty on September 8, 1954, in Tyler Town, Mississippi, Ruby Nell, Ruby’s parents instilled in her and her siblings the importance of prayer and faith. When Ruby was four years old, her family moved to New Orleans to pursue better opportunities. Ruby was selected at age six to enroll at Williams Frantz Elementary School. Her father was initially opposed to her attending an all-white school, feeling that the school she attended was good enough. Her mother convinced him that they needed to allow Ruby to take advantage of an opportunity to get an education better than theirs. At the time, they were not aware of the significance of their decision or of the effect it would have on their daughter.
Ruby spent her entire first day of school in the principal’s office, observing irate parents march into the school to remove their children. On Ruby’s second day of school, Barbara Henry, a young teacher hired from Boston, began to teach her. The two of them worked together in an otherwise vacant classroom for a whole year. Every day as the marshals escorted her to school, only a few blocks from her home, they urged Ruby to look ahead to avoid seeing the racist insults scrawled across signs or the distorted faces spitting at her. At first, Ruby attributed the noise and crowd to Mardi Gras. It was not until much later that she realized she was the subject of the crowd’s noise.
Toward the end of the school year, the crowds began slowly to wane and one by one, parents brought their children back to school. By the following school year, the school was integrated and attendance returned to normal.
Ruby's family suffered a great deal because of her attending Williams Frantz Elementary School for Whites. Her father lost his job, her grandparents lost their place as tenant farmers, and her family was threatened. The bridges gathered together to support each other, and family friends would come to their house in the morning and help Ruby get ready for school.
She inspired the 1966 painting by Norman Rockwell entitled "The Problem We All Live With" and the children book, "The Ruby Bridges Story" by Robert Coles. By now, nobody can deny the heroism of Ruby Bridges. Her bravery inspired kids everywhere, white or black, she taught them that everyone should be treated equal.
Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. For 15 years Hall worked as a travel agent, later becoming a full-time parent. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she said "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it."
Like hundreds of thousands of others in the greater New Orleans area, Bridges Hall lost her home (in Eastern New Orleans) to the catastrophic flooding in the failture of the levee system during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In October, 2006, the Albmeda Unified School District dedicated a new elementary school to Ruby Bridges, and issued a proclamation in her honor.