Who is Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges, born on the 8th September 1954, is a renowned civil rights activist from the United States of America, particularly famous for being the first African-American to desegregate William Frantz Elementary School, an all-white school in Louisiana, during the desegregation crisis in 1960. Bridges had to be escorted by federal marshalls on her first day, and subsequent days after that to ensure her safety, highlighting just how groundbreaking and brave an act it was by her and her mother to make the choices they did.
Bridges went on to work for a travel agent and later a full-time parent, before chairing the Ruby Bridges Foundation, formed to promote tolerance and respect, stopping racism and injustice, in particular by educating and protecting children.
In popular culture, she has been portrayed in a television movie, was the subject of a painting by Norman Rockwell and is the subject of a song by Lori McKenna. As well as this, she has been made part of an exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, dedicated to how children can make a difference in society. An example of just how important Bridge’s actions were to other children of her generation and later generations, Barack Obama referred to believing that with her actions, he would not have made it to the presidency.
Ruby Bridges Quotes
1. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.
2. A lot of my strength came from my upbringing
3. From age 7 to about 37, I had a normal life and not a very easy one.
4. I had never seen a white teacher before, but Mrs. Henry was the nicest teacher I ever had.
5. I like to share my story with children, and they are amazed by the story.
6. Administrations and administrative faculty work very hard to see that schools are diverse as much as possible.
7. All of our schools should be good enough to attract a healthy racial mix, which, I believe, leads to the most effective learning for everybody.
8. As African-Americans, people of that generation felt pretty much if they were going to see changes in the world, they had to make sacrifices and step up to the plate. I’m very proud that my parents happened to be people who did. They were not privileged to have a formal education. Ruby Bridges
9. Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!
10. Every day, I would show up, and there were no kids, just me and my teacher in my classroom. Every day, I would be escorted by marshals past a mob of people protesting and boycotting the school. This went on for a whole year.
11. Evil isn’t prejudiced. It doesn’t care what you look like; it just wants a place to rest. It’s up to you whether you give it that place.
12. Evil looks like you and I. I know what evil looks like, and I know that it comes in all shades and colors.
13. I believe that we have to come together, and we have to rely on the goodness of each other.
14. I do think that some people are born as old souls.
15. I felt like there was something I needed to do – speaking to kids and sharing my story with them and helping them understand racism has no place in the minds and hearts of children.
16. I never got the chance to meet Linda Brown; there were several times we were supposed to meet or be on the same stage together, but life gets in the way, and it never happened.
17. I now know that experience comes to us for a purpose, and if we follow the guidance of the spirit within us, we will probably find that the purpose is a good one.
18. I remember the first time seeing myself on TV, when my family was watching the documentary ‘Eyes on the Prize’ for the first time. There were pictures of people going up the school stairs, and Mom said, ‘Oh, that’s you!’ I said, ‘I can’t believe this. This is important.’
19. barricades and police officers and, just, people everywhere. When I saw all of that, I immediately thought that it was Mardi Gras. I had no idea that they were here to keep me out of the school.
20. I remember what it was like at age 6, not really understanding what was going on around me, but having all these grown-up thoughts running through my head about what I was facing, why this was happening.
21. I think racism is something that is passed on and taught to our kids, and that’s a shame.
22. I think that racism is ugly and so unfair, and I believe that we all need one another.
23. I wanted to use my experience to teach kids that racism has no place in hearts and minds.
24. I was the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960.
25. My family – my mother and father had gone through such a hard time that by the time I graduated from sixth grade, they were separated. Ruby Bridges
26. If you really think about it, if we begin to teach history exactly the way that it happened – good, bad, ugly, no matter what – I believe that we’re going to find that we are closer, more connected than we are apart.
27. It’s time to get past our racial differences. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.
28. I’ve seen schools in Detroit where the windows are broken, where there’s no heat, and children are sitting with their coats on in class in the middle of a snowstorm. I’ve also seen schools in California with Olympic-sized swimming pools and cafeterias like five-star restaurants.
29. Kids come into the world with clean hearts, fresh starts.
30. My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children.
31. My mother and our pastor always said you have to pray for your enemies and people who do you wrong, and that’s what I did.
32. My mother had taught me that the only thing you could depend on was your faith, and I had that.
33. Now that I’m a parent, I know that my parents were incredibly brave.
34. Once my school was integrated, and I was there with white kids and a few black kids, it really didn’t matter to us what we looked like.
35. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us.
36. Racism is a form of hate. We pass it on to our young people. When we do that, we are robbing children of their innocence.
37. Schools should be diverse if we are to get past racial differences.
38. Somehow, it always worked. Kneeling at the side of my bed and talking to the Lord made everything okay.
39. The greatest lesson I learned that year in Mrs. Henry’s class was the lesson Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to teach us all: Never judge people by the color of their skin. God makes each of us unique in ways that go much deeper.
40. The mission of the Ruby Bridges Foundation is to create educational opportunities like science camp that allow children from different racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds to build lasting relationships.
41. The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round.
42. The people I passed every morning as I walked up the school’s steps were full of hate. They were white, but so was my teacher, who couldn’t have been more different from them. She was one of the most loving people I had ever known.
43. There are all kinds of monuments to adults – usually dead and usually white. But we don’t often lift up the extraordinary work of children.
44. Throughout my life, my prayers have actively sustained me – held me up, carried me through.
45. We as African Americans knew that if we wanted to see change, we had to step up to the plate and make that change ourselves. Not everyone comes to that realization in their lives but thank God Linda Brown’s father felt that way.
46. We have to take care of each other’s children.
47. We have tolerance, respect, and equality in our written laws but not in the hearts of some of our people.
48. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. I think that is very
49. We may not all be equally guilty. But we are all equally responsible for building a decent and just society.
50. We must absolutely take care of one another.
51. We’d get these boxes of clothing in the mail, and my mom would say, ‘What makes you think all this is for you? You’ve got a sister right behind you.’ So, then I realized, we’re all in this together. We have to help each other.
52. What I do remember about first grade and that year was that it was very lonely. I didn’t have any friends, and I wasn’t allowed to go to the cafeteria or play on the playground. What bothered me most was the loneliness in school every day.
53. What we, as African Americans, stood on was our faith.
54. When I think about our babies today and them not being safe in school, I think that should be the next civil rights movement, you know, is to ban the assault weapons so that our babies can be safe.
55. When the scary subject of race is finally broached, kids want to talk and talk. It’s very satisfying.