Have you had a passion so strong, that it just needed to be let out? Something that you felt the world needed to know? That's Ruby Bridges, one of the first African-American girl to go to an integrated public school in Louisiana. She felt apprehensive, scared and clueless all at the same time. If you were in her situation, what would you feel or do? Ruby Bridges was an important figure in shaping the modern day America, and in doing so showed all of us kids what it really means to fight for your right, without violence.
THE EARLY YEARS
Ruby Nell Bridges was born on September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi. Her parents were sharecroppers, people who rented land and instead of paying with money, they paid with crops. "Sharecropping is hard work. On the day before Ruby was born, I carried 90 pounds of cotton on my back. I wanted a better life for Ruby." ( Lucille Bridges) Both sets of Ruby's grandparents were sharecroppers and she would spend very hot summers helping them. In 1958, Ruby's family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, and lived on a heavily populated African-American block. Her mother did various night jobs, while her father was a service station attendant and by the time she was 6, she had many brothers and sisters. Her job was to watch them, and she did a pretty good job. Ruby Bridges' life really didn't include anything off her block, but that was all about to change.
KINDERGARTEN AT JOHNSON LOCKETT
When Ruby was 5 years old, she started kindergarten at Johnson Lockett Elementary School. "My segregated school was fairly far from my house, but I had lots of company for the long walk. All the kids on my block went to Johnson Lockett" (Ruby Bridges) Ruby's school was all black, and she had many friends. In the spring of 1960, the government decided to force two white school to integrate and Johnson Lockett was to test their kindergarteners to see if they could make it in white schools. So, Lucille dressed up Ruby in her Sunday finest and took her uptown, to the school board room and waited to be tested. That summer, several people from NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) came to her house and told Ruby's parents that she had passed to test and was to go to William Frantz Elementary School. It was closer and better than Johnson Lockett. Abon was very apprehensive about it, saying, "We're just asking for trouble," but Lucille thought it to be a great idea, and finally convinced him into going for it. Ruby really didn't understand what was going on, but she was going to FIRST DAY OF 1st GRADE
On November 14th, 1960, Ruby Bridges was ready to go to her new school. William Frantz Elementary School was an all white school, and many people were in an outrage because it was being integrated. In fact, the day school started was pushed back because government officials found a way to slow down the process. On that Sunday before she went, her mother said, "There might be a lot of people outside the school, but you don't need to be afraid. I'll be with you." On that November morning, many federal marshals showed up at her door, saying they were to escort her to her new school. When they got to William Frantz, a huge mob of people were outside the school. The mob was shouting things, and holding unpleasant signs. The scariest thing to Ruby was that a black girl was in a coffin and a little girl was holding it. Ruby did intrigue many people and one of those people was Norman Rockwell, and he painted a picture called 1The Problems We All Live With. After Ruby finished her 1st grade school year, she had slowly gotten used to the whole fiasco, and she went through school with the same respect as she had in 1st grade. It did get better, throughout her career, she finished high school and became a flight attendant.
When Ruby got older, she had done many things to help the Civil Rights Movement. She had established a foundation called "The Ruby Bridges...