As soon as Bridges entered the school, white parents pulled their own children out; all the teachers refused to teach while a black child was enrolled. Only one person agreed to teach Ruby and that was Barbara Henry, from Boston, Massachusetts, and for over a year Henry taught her alone, “as if she were teaching a whole class.”
>That first day, Bridges and her adult companions spent the entire day in the principal’s office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day. On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his 5-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, “I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school …” A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside. Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her; 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.
>The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary: her father lost his job, the grocery store the family shopped at would no longer let them shop there, and her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land. She has noted that many others in the community, both black and white, showed support in a variety of ways. Some white families continued to send their children to Frantz despite the protests, a neighbor provided her father with a new job, and local people babysat, watched the house as protectors, and walked behind the federal marshals’ car on the trips to school.
>Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became 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 says, “racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”
>In 2014, a statue of Bridges was unveiled in the courtyard of William Frantz Elementary School.
[Wiki](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Bridges), of course
Zoidelee: What a sad story. A similar story from Australia. Our Indigenous people weren’t classed as people until 1967. Before that date they came under the Flora and Fauna Act. It just mind boggling.
rammerjammergirl: I have a 7 year old daughter in the 1st grade. Last year, in Kindergarten, she was taught about Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, during the week of MLK day, she was taught a little about segregation and Rosa Parks along with more about MLK. She had a lot of questions when she came home about how sad it that people were treated bad because of their skin color. I tried my best, in the simplest way possible to tell her about segregation, and how it would feel if you couldn’t play, eat, learn, have fun with other kids your age just because of the color of your skin. She just couldn’t grasp that idea. When I told her that the children of MLK are still alive, and that she should ask her great-grandmother more about living through the civil rights movement. She couldn’t believe that people who lived during segregation are still alive. To her, and I assume to most other kids her age, segregation seems like a hundred years ago. As hard as it it for me to talk about segregation and racism with her, in terms she can understand, it is so important that she realize that there are people that ugly and hateful still alive today. All I can do is my best to teach her to treat everyone equally, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
When I see this picture, I see a scared 6 year old girl. A baby, who very well could be my own. On the first day of school every year, I am scared throughout the day, scared that she won’t like what they have in for lunch, scared that she will have a kid push her down on the playground and she wont stand up for herself, I couldn’t imagine the fear that both her and her parents had. I couldnt imagine being scared that someone would poison her. I couldnt imagine how hard that must have been for them to make that decision. But I am thankful that they did.
ReginaPhilangee: She just a tiny girl, trying to go to school. All that hate and all the fighting, over a little girl going to school.
I wish I could say we were past that all now…
lowkey65: I just love Kevin Spacey smiling at the back.