Ruby featured on Tavis Smiley on PBS


School Integration: Ruby Bridges in Context

By Tamika Thompson

During his time in New Orleans, Tavis caught up with New Orleans native Ruby Bridges, who, in 1960, was the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.

Tavis visits with Ruby Bridges at William Frantz Elementary

(To see a video of Tavis’ reflections on Bridges, click here.)

Bridges’ story—captured in Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting “The Problem We All Live With“—is bigger than New Orleans and bigger than the South.

Hers is the story of school integration for Blacks. And, while the landmark case for school desegregation is the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Bridges’ story—and the story of all Black students seeking an education in all-white schools—begins in the 19th century, when Blacks weren’t yet free.

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