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Black history fact #11
Ruby Bridges is an American activist and a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. Despite the 1954 US Supreme Court case Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas ending the racial segregation of schools, southern states resisted integration until a federal court forced Louisiana to desegregate on November 14, 1960. At age 6, Bridges became the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960. Due to violent mobs, she had to be escorted to class by her mother and four US Marshals every day. For the entire school year, Bridges walked past crowds of people yelling racial slurs at her, was taught as a class of one by her teacher Barbara Henry (after angry white parents pulled their children from the school), ate lunch alone, and sometimes played with her teacher at recess. Undeterred, she never missed a day of school. Her bravery inspired others and paved the way for continued Civil Rights actions. She continues her activism to this day. In 1999, she established The Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and create change through education.
Thank you Ruby Bridges for your bravery!