Ruby's Story

*Ruby was born on September 8, 1954, in Tylertown, Mississippi. Like any other African American family during this decade, Ruby and her family were looked down upon. When Ruby was about four years old, her family moved from Tylertown to New Orleans. This is where the judge ordered Ruby to attend Frantz Elementary School for Whites. She was the first black child to walk into Frantz Elementary School. The day Ruby had to go to school, she was escorted by Federal Marshalls, in doing so, an angry crowd of white parents were outside the school doors chanting, *"two-four-six-eight, we don't want to integrate."

When Ruby finally stepped into the school,*at the age of six, it was almost empty. Some of the white parents took their children out of school, because they didn't want their child to have to deal with a little black child. White people thought that black or any other race shouldn't be treated as equals. Some white people threatened to poison Ruby and hurt her and her famlily if she went to their school. Her dad lost his job because his boss didn't think that someone should be working for him if his child was going to an all-white school. Ruby and her mom had stayed in the office the entire day of school. Unlike most of the white parents, some still took their kids to school and it didn't matter to them who was their, too.

On the first day of school, Ruby, her mom, and her teacher,*Mrs. Henry, sat in the classroom. Now, no white parents would allow their children to even be in the same classroom as Ruby. Mrs. Henry started to teach and was very loving towards Ruby. She supported and helped Ruby through the diffuclt conflict Ruby was facing.

On the third day of school, Ruby's mother didn't want to go to the school with her. For the rest of the year, Ruby was the only one in her class, and she was also taught on a different floor than the other kids. At first this whole inccident didn't bother Ruby, but after a while of being alone, she started to wonder why she couldn't be with the other children.

After the winter break, Ruby started seeing a child psychiatrist. *His name was Dr. Coles. He got interested in Ruby by seeing her go into school with the Marshalls surrounding her and how she delt with it all. He wondered how she handled all the pressure and wanted to help her. Dr. Coles thought it would be better for her if she talked with someone outside of her family. Ruby felt specail because a very important man would visit her during school. His wife came, too, and she was, like Dr. Coles, a very caring person. After a while with talking to Ruby's mother, they became good friends.

*Ruby's family suffered a great deal because of her attending Frantz Elementary School for Whites. Her father lost his job, her grandparents lost their place as tenant farmers, and her family was threatened. The bridges gathered together to support eachother, and family friends would come to their house in the morning and help Ruby get ready for school.

She inspired the 1966 painting by Norman Rockwell entitled "The Problem We All Live With" and the childrens book, "The Ruby Bridges Story" by Robert Coles. By now, nobody can deny the heroism of Ruby Bridges. Her bravery inspired kids everywhere, white or black, she taught them that everyone should be treated equal.