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Integration

Written by: George Chittenden : 11 Oct 2019

This photo was taken in 1960 and features the absolutely incredible Ruby Bridges. At the age of six the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People requested that she take part in the integration of the New Orleans school system. Ruby was the first black child to attend an all-white school. Many white parents removed their own children from the school and teachers refused to work while a black child was enrolled. It’s hard to imagine what she went through, and strange to think that in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that long ago.

Initially when Ruby saw the huge crowds awaiting her arrival, she thought it was Mardi Gras, but sadly for Ruby it wasn’t quite the joyful occasion she thought it would be. Throughout 1960 Ruby and her mother were escorted to school by four federal marshals. During which Ruby would pray, as a coping mechanism for the constant verbal abuse she would receive. Former Marshal Charles Burks later recalled, "She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier.”

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