60 Years Later, Ruby Bridges Tells Her Story In 'This Is Your Time'

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tags: civil rights, African American history, New Orleans, desegregation, school integration, Brown v. Board of Education, Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges is a real person who became an indelible image of American history.

She was that six year-old girl, painted by Norman Rockwell, who was escorted into school by stout U.S. marshals, when she became the first Black student at the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960.

Rockwell depicted her in a light, white dress, holding her schoolbooks and a ruler — and walking by a wall scrawled with a message of hate. 60 years later, she's written a book to tell children her story, and a story of America — Ruby Bridges: This is Your Time.

Bridges recalls that first day, and her teacher, Barbara Henry: "Barbara came from Boston to teach me because teachers actually quit their jobs because they didn't want to teach black kids. I remember the first day meeting her, she looked exactly like the mob outside the classroom. So I really didn't know what to expect from her," Bridges says.

"But I remember her graciously saying, you know, come in and take a seat — and there I was sitting in an empty classroom with her for the whole year, you know, she showed me her heart. Very early on, and I realized that she cared about me, she made school fun, and ultimately I felt safe in that classroom."

Read entire article at NPR