Ruby Nell Bridges Hall who was born in September 8, 1954 is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana.
On November 14, 1964, Ruby was taken to her new school (white school) accompanied by police officers and her mother. The image of a little black girl surrounded by four police men inspired Norman Rockwel to create the painting “The Problem We All Live With”, which became a front-page cover for Look magazine in 1964.
As she came to school, there was already a crowd of people and parents of students who were furious and against to Ruby. They threw tomatoes at her, yelled at her, shouted at her and posted racist comments on the walls, threatening to poison her, etc.
The days that followed were also difficult. However, little Ruby’s stubbornness and the solidarity of other Americans gave her courage and practical support to keep going. As it happened!
The difficult years passed and little Ruby grew up and had a family, but she never stopped fighting for Human Rights. Recently, former US President Barack Obama invited her to the White House, where the painting depicting her was next to Oval Office. Obama’s words are indicative of the significance of Ruby Bridges’ story: “I think it’s fair to say that if it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here today” the President said emphatically, showing his respect for her.
Today, Ruby Bridges is president of the “Ruby Bridges Foundation”, which promotes issues around equality and Human Rights.