Ruby Bridges: More Than A First Grader

November 14th will mark the 60th Anniversary of the  integration of William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans by six-year-old Ruby Bridges. 

Norman Rockwell’s painting, “The Problem We All Live With,” published four years after Ruby Bridges’ brave actions, remains an important piece of Americana. With incredible courage, Ms. Bridges walked amongst white protestors as they  hurled  slurs while throwing objects at herbecause of  the color of her skin. 

Ruby Bridges described the scene like Mardi Gras. However,  the lasting effects of her actions that lead to the desegregation of the New Orleans public school system hit her and her family in many detrimental ways. Her father lost his job, and her grandparents were even thrown off of the land they had sharecropped for years. The family’s courage in the midst of racism and bigotry is like many other icons during the American Civil Rights Movement. History now sees Ruby Bridges as more than a first grader, but at the time she was one of many everyday people making incredible strides to push the needle towards progress in America. 

Learn more about Ruby Bridges and other civil rights icons at The Center. Plan your visit today and experience how we’re more than a museum.