(Image by DOJ photographer via Wikipedia)
On November 14, 1960 Ruby Bridges — 6 years-old at the time — became the first black child to attend a all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. She entered the school flanked by U.S. Marshalls, who escorted her past segregationist protestors shouting threats and waving confederate flags.
Soon after, parents pulled their children out of William Frantz Elementary School and all of the teachers quit, leaving Bridges as the sole student attending the school. Eventually white students began attending the school again. Today, New Orlean’s public schools are predominately black; white students usually attend private and parochial schools as they did over 50 years ago.
(DOJ photographer via Wikipedia)
Bridges stated that lawmakers need to make schools more racially mixed, stating,
“How did we integrate schools back in the 1960s? If those people did it back then, I can’t understand why we can’t do it today for the betterment of a community or for a society.”
On Friday — 54 years to the day that Ruby Bridges braved a terrifying scene just to go to school — she commemorated the event by unveiling a statue in her likeness at William Frantz Elementary.
Bridges also stated,
“You almost feel like you’re back in the `60s,” said Bridges, who is now 60 years old. “The conversation across the country, and it doesn’t leave out New Orleans, is that schools are reverting back” to being segregated along racial lines, she said. “We all know that there are schools being segregated again.”