In 1960, Ruby Bridges was only 6 when she walked passed an angry mob to become the first black student at William Frantz, an all white school in New Orleans.
“They were throwing things. Later on I knew that they were eggs. Why did they hate me when they didn’t even know me?” asked Bridges.
Looking at Ruby, it’s hard to believe such violence and hatred existed in her lifetime. But it did. For the entire year, Ruby was the only child in her first grade classroom. At first, all the white parents pulled their kids out of school. But as the year went on, some sent their kids back. Near the end of the year, Ruby was finally allowed to meet them.
Today, Ruby’s life still centers around school. She spends much of her time telling her story to children all around the country. She also became very involved with the William Frantz School. Beginning in the early 90’s, ruby volunteered at the school, and started her own foundation to help raise money to revitalize it. But when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, the school was demolished and remains in shambles despite the fact that it’s been declared an historical sight by the government.
Now, Ruby is working to reopen the doors that once threatened to shut her out.
“My next phase is, you know, to really fight for the school. Because I do believe it’s my school.”