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Ruby Bridges facts: Who is the American activist and why is she famous?

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The US Sun
The US Sun

RUBY Bridges became a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement when she was a young child.

Bridges - who lost her mom in 2020 - endured taunts when she attended the previously all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.
Ruby Bridges at age 6 Credit: Getty Images - Getty

Who is Ruby Bridges?

Ruby Bridges was one of six students designated to integrate William Frantz Elementary School, but she was the only one to enroll.

Her first day at the school was November 14, 1960, when she was six.

"Her parents were torn about whether to let her attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School, a few blocks from their home," according to the National Women's History Museum.

"Her father resisted, fearing for his daughter’s safety; her mother, however, wanted Ruby to have the educational opportunities that her parents had been denied.
Ruby Bridges attends Glamour's 2017 Women of The Year Awards at Kings Theatre on November 13, 2017, in Brooklyn Credit: Getty Images - Getty

"Meanwhile, the school district dragged its feet, delaying her admittance until November 14.

"Two of the other students decided not to leave their school at all; the other three were sent to the all-white McDonough Elementary School."

She was escorted to school by four federal marshals and spent the entire day in the principal’s office amid protests by angry parents.

The school would enroll several more black students during the school year.
Ruby Bridges in an undated photo. Credit: Getty Images - Getty

How old is Ruby Bridges?

Ruby Bridges is 66.

She has been married to Malcolm Hall since 1984 and has four children.

Bridges was born on September 8, 1954, in Mississippi.

What are her most famous quotes?

Bridges has spoken often about her extraordinary William Frantz Elementary School experience.

"What I do remember about first grade and that year was that it was very lonely," she said.

"I didn't have any friends, and I wasn't allowed to go to the cafeteria or play on the playground.
Deputy Marshals escort six-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in November of 1960 Credit: AP:Associated Press

"What bothered me most was the loneliness in school every day."

She is also quotes as saying "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!"

Bridges also once said that "my message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children."

Where is Ruby Bridges now?

Bridges lives in New Orleans with her husband.

She would work as a travel agent and later became a full-time parent.

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