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Ruby Bridges Was the First Black Girl to Attend an All-White School in the South

Ruby Bridges, first Black girl to attend an all-white school

Ruby Bridges, born in 1954, was the first African American student to attend an all-white school. The same year that she was born, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the verdict for the Brown vs School Board case, and it was declared that the laws that established school racial segregation denied students equal educational opportunities.
While she was in kindergarten, at just 6-years old, Ruby became one of many African-American students in New Orleans, Louisiana who were selected to take a test that would determine whether or not they would be eligible to attend one of the local white schools.

The test was reportedly designed to be especially difficult, but Ruby became one of six African-American students to pass the exam. However, she was the only student to attend William Frantz Elementary School because she was the one who lived in the school's zone.

So, on November, 14, 1960, Ruby made history as she attended her first day at the school. However, her accomplishment did not make life easier for her family. Many local whites were furious and were protesting outside of the school as she arrived. It was so bad that she had to be escorted by federal agents.

Later, her family began to receive death threats, her father lost her job, her grandparents lost their land, and only one teacher was willing to allow Ruby to be present in her class. Even worse, Ruby, being only just a child dealing with all this pressure, had to seek psychological help.

But she toughed it out, continued to attend integrated schools as she grew up, and later graduated from Francis T. Nicholls Integrated High School.

She went on to study tourism at the Kansas City Business School, and worked as a travel agent for 15 years. In 1999, she created the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote the values ​​of tolerance, respect and appreciation of differences.