1960 - Ruby Bridges Goes To School
Title: 1960 - Ruby Bridges Goes To School
About: As the first black student to attend an all-white school, 6 year old Ruby Bridges became a symbol of desegregation, but in her first year had to be escorted by US Marshalls.
Bridges was the only Black child assigned to the William Frantz Elementary School. On her first day an angry shouting crowd surrounded the school. Bridges and her mother entered the building with the help of four federal marshals and spent the day sitting in the principal’s office.
By the second day, all the white families with children in the first-grade class had withdrawn them from school. The first-grade teacher opted to resign rather than teach a Black child. An educator named Barbara Henry was called to take over the class, and taught Bridges as a class of one for the rest of the year.
Bridges was not allowed to play in the playground for fear for her safety, and she was forbidden from eating in the cafeteria due to concerns that someone might poison her. In essence, Bridges was segregated—even if it was for her own safety—from white students.
Bridges' integration at William Frantz Elementary School received national media attention. News coverage of her efforts brought the image of the little girl escorted to school by federal marshals into the public consciousness.
When Bridges began second grade, the anti-integration protests continued, but more black students had enrolled in the school, and the white students had returned. As Bridges worked her way through elementary school, her time at William Frantz became less difficult and she spent the rest of her education in integrated settings.
Region: North America
Society: Race Relations
Type: Historical Event
Artist: Stefan Milosavljevic
Price: 0.4 ETH