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Ruby Bridges biography: Early Years

Ruby Bridges was born on September 8th, 1954 and is still living to this day. Today she is 63 years old. Ruby Bridges grew up on a farm and was born in Tylertown, Mississippi. When Ruby Bridges was young she moved to New Orleans because they wanted to try to live a better life and earn more money. Ruby Bridges lived with her mother Lucille, her father Abon and her brother and sister.

Their family was struggling to get money so her mom and dad both had to get a job her father worked at the gas station during the day and her mom took night jobs to help support their growing family. Ruby Bridges family was a Christian family they went to church every Sunday and if they were ever having problems they would always pray to God. Before her parents realized that she was a very smart girl Ruby Bridges enjoyed playing softball jumping with jump ropes and climbing with her siblings.

Ruby went to kindergarten at an all-black School. Schools in New Orleans were segregated. Ruby Bridges and her family walked to school every day, it was a long walk but Ruby didn’t mind because she liked going to school. Ruby Bridges was asked to take a test, the test was used as a way to determine which students were the smartest and which ones would be able to go to the William Frantz Elementary School, she got a very good score on the test. Ruby’s parents were told that she was allowed to go to the local white school and begin the integration of black and white students.

Her father didn’t approve of her going to a white school and was scared it would be dangerous. At the time white parents didn’t like the idea of black children being with their kids. Her mother thought that it would be very good for her to get a good education and she could get other black students to join her at William Frantz Elementary School.

Ruby Bridges started first grade at her old school some people still where against Ruby going to the new school. On November 14th of 1960, Ruby Bridges started her first day at the all-white school.

On Ruby’s first day at school there were a lot of people protesting and threatening to hurt and kill her and her family. Since Ruby was so young she didn’t really understand what was happening all she knew was that her parents were afraid. That morning Federal Marshals came and drove her to school and made sure no one could hurt her on the way in.

School didn’t feel like school for Ruby on the first day. All she did was sitting in the office with her mom and watch the children’s parents pull their kids out of school.

Ruby was the only black child to go to William Frantz Elementary School. The school was finally integrated and parents where fine with it but the classrooms still were not. She was in a class all by herself. She had a white teacher names Mrs. Henry. The rest of the year it was just Ruby and Mrs. Henry. Ruby enjoyed being with Mrs. Henry and learned a lot. Ruby’s family and Mrs. Henry became close friends.

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