Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges – Breaking Barriers

Ruby Bridges is an American civil rights activist who is known for being the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the American South. She was born in Mississippi in 1954 and later moved to New Orleans with her family. Despite facing incredible adversity, Bridges became a symbol of courage and resilience in the fight for racial equality.

Early Life

Ruby Bridges was born on September 8, 1954, in Tylertown, Mississippi. Her family moved to New Orleans when she was four years old, and they faced discrimination and segregation in their daily lives. In 1960, Bridges was selected to attend William Frantz Elementary School, which was an all-white school in New Orleans.

Breaking Barriers

When Bridges began attending William Frantz Elementary School, she was the only African-American student in the entire school. Her presence was met with hostility and violence from many white parents, who refused to let their children attend school with her. Bridges had to be escorted to school by federal marshals for her own safety.

Despite the adversity she faced, Bridges remained determined to receive an education. She worked hard and eventually made friends with some of the white students who initially protested her attendance. Her bravery and resilience in the face of such hostility made her an icon in the civil rights movement.


Ruby Bridges’ bravery and perseverance helped to pave the way for desegregation in schools across the country. She has continued to be an advocate for civil rights and education, and her story has inspired generations of people around the world.

In 1995, Bridges founded the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which promotes tolerance and acceptance through education. She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to society, including the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama in 2011.

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