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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ruby Bridges

In 1954 the US supreme court ordered the end of racially segregated education. Before then white and black children were educated in separate schools. In 1960 five year old Ruby Bridges was chosen to be one of the first four black girls to attend a previously all white school in New Orleans.

On her first day at school she had to be escorted by federal marshalls because there was a crowd of angry white parents at the door. (The bigotry is unbelievable.)
Charles Burks, one of the U.S. Marshals who escorted Ruby Bridges and her mother into the school building, remembers the little girl who became a hero. "She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier. And we're all very proud of her."

In an act of protest the white parents kept their children out of school for most of the year and Ruby was educated alone. Ruby's father also lost his job and her grandparents their place as tenant farmers. By the start of the next year Ruby's school was fully integrated and she is now remembered in America as a hero. You can read more about her here.


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