Ruby Bridges, the first Black student to attend integrated schools in the south, is celebrating her 64th birthday this weekend.
At just the age of six, Bridges walked into an all-white school on November 14, 1960, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was escorted by four federal marshals into William Frantz Elementary School as hundreds of white residents angrily rallied outside in protest.
The moment was immortalized in a painting by Norman Rockwell.
Bridges, who was born on September 8, 1954, told ESSENCE in 2009 that she remembers little of that moment in history, though she recalls thinking she was in the middle of a parade.
“You have to remember, I was a 6-year-old child,” she said. “Especially in African-American families, you are, for the most part, seen and not heard. Parents never sat you down and tried to explain things like that to you. And then, if you think about it, how much of that could you explained to a 6-year-old without making the situation worse? I was told that I was going to a new school, and that was it.”
Many took to Twitter to send Bridges birthday wishes on Saturday.
Happy 64th Birthday to Ruby Bridges who at the age of 6 years old became the first Black child to integrate a white school in the United States. pic.twitter.com/Xwvm10aYpx
— Black Girl Culture (@blkgirlculture) September 8, 2018
Ruby Bridges, the first Black child to attend an all-white public elementary school in the South was born on this date. She's 64. pic.twitter.com/SGSKDXeRYh
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 8, 2018
A Mighty Girl wishes a happy birthday to Ruby Bridges! Bridges famously had to be escorted into school by U.S. Marshals when she desegregated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960 https://t.co/3dPz9EKFJF pic.twitter.com/aka75uiojd
— amightygirl (@amightygirl) September 8, 2018
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