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32 Comments | Vintage
On the road to Civil Rights, even children became public figures, such as six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who integrated an all-white elementary school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. Ruby was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, to Abon and Lucille Bridges. When she was 4 years old, her parents, Abon and Lucille Bridges, moved to New Orleans, hoping for a better life in a bigger city. Her father got a job as a gas station attendant and her mother took night jobs to help support their growing family. [More here](https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/ruby-bridges-1960/)
Was super nice when the Federal government was supportive of this kind of thing.
It blows my mind that this happened when my father was only 5. Reminds me of something my history teacher in college said. He was an older man and said “I walked the world with slaves, meaning that when he was born, there were still really African Americans around who at one time were forced to work fields. I’ll never forget that.
Do we know anything of the Marshals who escorted her?
Even after all this time, it’s still infuriating to be reminded that US Marshals were needed to protect a little girl just trying to go to school. To protect her from *adults* who were her neighbors in the same town.
To expand on the story: no teacher in Ruby’s all-white school in Louisiana would teach her, except for[ Barbara Henry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Henry), a recent transplant from Boston. The white teachers in the school refused to educate her or even allow her in their classrooms for an entire year. Said Bridges of Henry later:
> I had never seen a white teacher before, but Mrs. Henry was the nicest teacher I ever had. She tried very hard to keep my mind off what was going on outside. But I couldn’t forget that there were no other kids.
Incidentally, both women are still alive today.
What a brave little girl. The shit she endured while paving the way is not fun to think about.
“Ruby Bridges” sounds a lot like a Civil War battle, which I suppose in some ways it was.
I don’t know if I would be brave enough to do something like that.
This happened less than 60 years ago. US Marshall’s had to be called in because adults were protesting a little girl going to *their* school. The fucked part is, is that the people that were protesting went on to have kids that further their backward ass views.
We’ve come a long way, but we have a long road ahead of us too. This was only a generation ago.
Are these policemen around her?
My father-in-law was in the National Guard in the early 60’s and was deployed to Oxford, MS when James Meredith enrolled at Ole’ Miss. He’s from Spokane Washington, and had never been in the American South before the deployment. He stayed on the perimeter, a grunt largely assigned to traffic duty. He was there about three weeks.
The one thing he remembers – that the people of Oxford, the regular townsfolk – they were some of the nicest, most warm and hospitable people he’s ever met. He was expecting the opposite and was genuinely surprised by what he found. Each and every day he was there he had white people apologize to him “for all the mess” and tell him the school should just let Meredith in and move on.
In any protest or siege situation, there’s the people at the center of the action and then there’s everybody else just trying to get on with their lives. It’s important to realize that when we see pictures like this, there’s trouble in the crowd – but outside the perimeter there’s the rest of us, just trying to get on with their day who actually have no negative concern for this little girl attending their school. There’s a strong chance most in the town this little girl integrated were just fine with her doing it, no matter what Hollywood or some historians would have us believe. Those smiles on the officers inside the door belie this point.
And then there’s the corollary – that the few assholes dead set against such progress wield far too much power over the rest of us, back then and now as well.
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God love the little sweetheart – not a thing she should have gone through. Sad time in America. Evil mentality at that time.
She came to my elemtary school once to talk to us
Good lord, is that a personal security detail?
Just read her Wikipedia article, and found this:
“Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her, while another held up a black baby doll in a coffin; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, allowed Ruby to eat only the food that she brought from home.”
Real adults threatened to MURDER a six year old, EVERY day.
I really hope these people are so embarrassed and ashamed.
American history, so much to be proud of
Here is Obama meeting Ruby Bridges when he was president: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCsJ-24MdZc
Sadly, to me it seems not much has changed
If only they would start letting African Americans go to while schools in the north too.
That poor little girl, imagine the shit she put up with.
I hope that by the time those US Marshall’s retired that that was one of the proudest moments of their life protecting young Ruby Bridges.
[Her photo from wiki.])
Man I remember watching the movie for ruby
I can’t even begin to imagine how much hate that poor girl was surrounded with each and every day.
Imagine what the comment section of a Facebook post featuring this would look like if desegregation happened today.
And she’s still alive, she’s 63 years old, younger than my mum, and that really puts into perspective how NOT long ago the USA was racially segregated.
I was the same age as Ruby in 1960 and I can’t imagine going to school under those conditions.
I’m very lucky to have one of ruby bridges signed books, she came to our school and spoke and signed some of her own books.
Sad that she needs protection from hooded democrats just because she wants to go to school.
Amazing that so many grown men could be so scared of such a small brave child.