Women's History Month: Ruby Bridges at the Door
U.S. Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges to and from Frantz Elementary in New Orleans, Louisiana, amid ongoing protests in November of 1960.
Although most Americans have heard of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education (1954) declaring racial segregation of public schools in the U.S. unlawful, few know much about those who lived it most intimately. As documented in Rachel Devlin's A Girl Stands at the Door (2018), the students at the center of these conflicts were overwhelmingly girls, and usually very young.
Linda Brown, for example, was nine when her father became one of 13 plaintiffs to answer the call of Topeka's NAACP to enroll Black children in the closest local school, which led to the Brown v. Board case and eventual decision. And Ruby Bridges, pictured here, was just six when every teacher but one at her local school refused to teach after a federal judge ordered the integration of schools in New Orleans.
Learn more about Ruby Bridges via this NPR story or broader article from Smithsonian Magazine.
This brief look was produced by the Chancellor's Commission on Women.
Charlie Alison, executive editor
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