Ruby Bridges Quotes – Ruby Nell Bridges Hall (born September 8, 1954) is an American activist known for being the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
Ruby Bridges was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, to Abon and Lucille Bridges. When she was four years old, the family relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1960, when she was six years old, her parents responded to a request from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and volunteered her to participate in the integration of the New Orleans school system, even though her father was hesitant.
Bridges Hall is the subject of the Lori McKenna song “Ruby’s Shoes”. Her childhood struggle at William Frantz Elementary School was portrayed in the 1998 made-for-TV movie Ruby Bridges. The young Ruby Bridges was portrayed by actress Chaz Monet, and the movie also featured Lela Rochon as Ruby’s mother, Lucille “Lucy” Bridges; Michael Beach as Ruby’s father, Abon Bridges; Penelope Ann Miller as Ruby’s teacher, Mrs. Henry; and Kevin Pollak as Dr. Robert Coles.
On January 8, 2001, Bridges Hall was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton.
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 failure of the levee system during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In October 2006, the Alameda Unified School District in California dedicated a new elementary school to Ruby Bridges, and issued a proclamation in her honor, and in November that year she was honored in the Anti-Defamation League’s Concert Against Hate. In 2007, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis unveiled a new exhibit documenting her life, along with the lives of Anne Frank and Ryan White.
In 2010, she had a 50th year reunion at Frantz Elementary with Pam Foreman Testroet, who, at age five, was the first white child to break the boycott that ensued from Bridges’ attendance at that school.
On July 15, 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, and while viewing the Norman Rockwell painting of her on display he told her, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together.”
On May 19, 2012, Bridges Hall received an Honorary Degree from Tulane University at the annual graduation ceremony at the Superdome.
In 2014, a statue of Bridges was unveiled in the courtyard of William Frantz Elementary School.
Ruby Bridges Quotes
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