Main menu


Who is Ruby Bridges and why is her civil rights picture book important?

featured image

US civil rights legend Ruby Bridges has released a new book. children’s books.

For those of you who don’t know Ruby Bridges’ name, she rose to fame at the age of six in one of the most important first grades in history.

Who is Ruby Bridges?

In 1954, just three months before she was born, US Supreme Court They unanimously decided that separate schools for black and white children were unconstitutional.

Despite landmark decisions across the United States, many states in the South have yet to make decisions. To separatePolice in these states also did not enforce federal rulings.

It took until 1960 for Judge J. Skelly Wright to order schools in New Orleans, Louisiana, to be desegregated.

Just in time for Ruby Bridges to enter elementary school.

Bridges had previously attended a segregated kindergarten in 1959. The school was officially desegregated, but still set up a ban test to reduce black attendance.

Six black children passed their exams and attended white schools in New Orleans, including Bridges.

Three of my children attended McDonough No. 19 School. The other two decided to stay at the black old school, and Bridges ended up attending her school’s William Franz Elementary School as the only black student.

At just six years old, Bridges began attending school accompanied by four U.S. Marshals.

Bridges spent his first day at school with his mother in the principal’s office because all white children did not participate in a boycott led by his parents.

The boycott was broken when white parent Lloyd Anderson Foreman brought his five-year-old daughter Pam to school on the second day of the semester. The only white teacher who agreed to teach Bridges was Barbara Henry.

Bridges recalls Henry’s influence on her life.

“It shaped me into a totally open-minded person. And I feel like that little girl is still in me. Making my kids understand that you can’t judge someone by looking at them is what makes me happy.” I believe it is the mission of

life stories in picture books

Bridges now turns her experiences into a picture book for children.

“I am Ruby Bridges” features illustrations by Nikkolas Smith. The book comes with a glossary that explains terms like “supreme court” and “law” for children.

“This is a true reflection of what happened through my own eyes,” Bridges said.

This book is designed to illustrate opportunities and the ability of children to make a difference to a young audience.

“My babies come in all different shapes and colors, my books are bestsellers, and I’ve been very lucky because of the way I tell stories that could be banned in schools.” “But I think my parents really want to get past racial differences. They’re going to look for those books.”

Bridges, who still lives in New Orleans, has four books for older children, including 2020’s This is Your Time.

The theme of the new book is named after the author. “Ruby” is a precious stone and “bridge” means to connect people. Told with humor from a freshman’s perspective, the book captures not only the dread of a tumultuous first day at school, but the wonder of Bridges’ experience.