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Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white public elementary school in the American South.
Rosa Parks - Mini Biography (4:30)
Ruby Bridges visited President Barack Obama to see Norman Rockwell's painting hanging outside of the Oval Office. The painting depicts her walk to school on the day of school integration in New Orleans. Video courtesy of the White House.
After Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, the African American community rallied behind her and refused to ride the segregated buses even if it meant walking to work.
A short biography of Rosa Parks.
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In 1995, she got her answer. Robert Coles, Bridges's child psychologist, published a children's book on his time with her entitled The Story of Ruby Bridges. Soon after, Barbara Henry, her teacher that first year at Frantz School, contacted Bridges and they were reunited on the Oprah Winfrey show.
With Bridges's experience as liaison at the school, and her reconnection with influential people in her past,
she began to see a need for bringing parents back into the schools to take a more active role in their children's education. In 1999, Bridges formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation, headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation promotes the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences. Through education and inspiration, the Foundation seeks to end racism and prejudice. As their motto goes, "Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it." In 2007, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis unveiled a new exhibit documenting Bridges's life, along with the lives of Anne Frank and Ryan White.
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