Imagine being just six years old and walking into a school where people are screaming at you, throwing things, and calling you names. This was the reality for Ruby Bridges, the first African American student to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Despite facing intense racism and discrimination, Ruby persevered and paved the way for integration in education. Her story is one of bravery, determination, and breaking down barriers that still resonates today. Join us as we explore how Ruby Bridges changed history with her courageous actions.
Breaking Barriers: How Ruby Bridges Paved the Way for Integration in Education
Ruby Bridges was the first black girl to attend an all-white school in Louisiana. Born in 1941, she faced racism and segregation on a daily basis when she attended elementary school and then high school. Despite the challenges she faced, Ruby was determined to get an education and break barriers in society. After graduating from high school, Ruby enrolled at Xavier University in New Orleans, which was one of only two colleges that accepted her for enrollment. She faced many obstacles during her time at Xavier: there were no black students on campus, few black faculty members, and no black housing options. However, Ruby persevered and graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1966.
After graduating from college, Ruby worked as a civil rights lawyer. In 1968, she became the first black person to be appointed as a federal civil servant when she was hired by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). Throughout her career at HEW, Ruby worked tirelessly to promote integration and equality for all Americans. Her work led to numerous landmark civil rights laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Her dedication to breaking barriers inspired others and helped pave the way for greater racial integration in American society.
The Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement was a time period in United States history when African Americans fought for their right to be treated equally with white Americans. The movement began with protests and demonstrations, but eventually culminated in landmark court rulings that enforced equal rights for black Americans. One of the most well-known figures during the Civil Rights Movement was Ruby Bridges. Bridges was the first black child to attend an all-white school in Louisiana, and she became a symbol of equality and civil rights. Her story illustrates the importance of peaceful protests and advocacy in achieving change, and it helped pave the way for wider integration of American society.
Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white public school in Louisiana. Her story and the obstacles she faced in pursuit of an education are a testament to the power of integration.
Born in 1938, Ruby was one of eight children. Her mother worked multiple jobs to support her family, and Ruby often had to help care for her siblings. When Ruby was six years old, she moved with her family to New Orleans, where they lived in a segregated neighborhood.
In 1954, when Ruby was 10 years old, she started attending William Frantz Elementary School. Although she was the only black student there, she quickly made new friends and began learning about science, math, and history that were not available to her at home.
Despite being one of only a few black students at Frantz Elementary School, Ruby never felt alone or scared. She participated in extracurricular activities and developed relationships with her teachers that helped her learn more about herself and life outside of school.
In 1961, when Ruby was 14 years old, she applied for admission to an all-white high school in Baton Rouge. The school board denied her request because they said there weren’t enough qualified black students who could also excel academically.
Ruby didn’t give up easily; instead, she decided to take matters into her own hands by enrolling in a preparatory class at nearby white schools that would allow her to qualify for admission into
Ruby Bridges was born in Mississippi in 1957, one of seven children of Willie and Ruby Bridges. When she was 6 years old, her family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, so that her father could take a job as a civil rights worker. In 1960, when Ruby was 8 years old, her family relocated to the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C., where they lived for the next four years while her father worked on the Civil Rights Commission.
In 1965, when Ruby was 11 years old, her family moved back to New Orleans again. This time, her father became the executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and he wanted his daughters to get an education. So Ruby and her sisters were bused to integrated schools in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
After finishing high school in Baltimore, Ruby decided to study at Boston University instead of returning home to New Orleans. While at Boston University, she met Medgar Evers, who was then president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Evers encouraged Ruby to pursue a career in law enforcement or social work, but she decided to become a teacher instead because she loved kids and felt that teaching would help them reach their full potential.
In 1977, after two years of graduate school at Teachers College Columbia University in New York City, Ruby accepted a position as an assistant principal at William Frantz Elementary School in Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City. Two years later she