American civil rights campaigner Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was born on September 8, 1954.
On November 14, 1960, during the New Orleans school desegregation issue, she became the first African American child to enroll at the Louisiana school that had previously exclusively been open to white students, William Frantz Elementary.
The Problem We All Live With, a Norman Rockwell artwork in 1964, features her as its subject.
Bridges was the oldest of Abon and Lucille Bridges’ five children. While she loved playing softball, jumping rope, and climbing trees, she spent much of her childhood caring for her younger brothers.
Bridges was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, but the family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, when she was four.
She agreed to participate in integrating the New Orleans school system in 1960 when she was six years old in response to a request from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) despite her father’s reservations.
Is Ruby Bridges still alive?
Ruby is still alive today and resides in New Orleans. She is the director of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which aids problematic students at William Frantz and other institutions.
Along with the group, Ruby traverses the nation, urging kids on the value of education and integration.
The first black child to enroll in an all-white elementary school in Louisiana, she made history on November 14, 1960, according to The Guardian.
She was one of the six kids who passed the exam and were admitted to a school with only white students. Ruby has been diligently working as a social activist up to this point.
She also oversees the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which gives young people the tools to choose a peaceful path.
The Civil Rights Movement was in its middle when Bridges was born. Three months and 22 days before Bridges’ birth, Brown v. The Board of Education was decided.
Black pupils were allowed to enroll in such schools because of the court decision that creating separate public schools for white children, which black children were prohibited from attending, was unconstitutional.
Although the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was finalized in 1954, southern states fiercely resisted the ruling’s requirement that they integrate within six years.
With her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four boys, Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, continued to reside in New Orleans in 2004.
She spent 15 years working as a travel agent after graduating from a desegregated high school before becoming a parent full-time.
The Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she established in 1999 to further “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences,” is now headed by her.
She said of the group’s goal: “Racism is a disease of adults, and we must stop using our children to spread it.”
In a meeting with President Barack Obama on July 15, 2011, Bridges said, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys,” He said, gazing at an exhibit of her Norman Rockwell portrait, “I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together.”
The Norman Rockwell artwork was displayed at the White House’s West Wing from June to October 2011, just outside the Oval Office.