In the year 1960, six year old Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. She and her mother had to be escorted to school everyday by an United States Marshall to protect them from the angry crowds that would collect outside the school. Despite the threats and protests, the Bridges family were determined to keep sending Ruby to school. Barbara Henry was the only teacher that would teach a black child and so for the entire year, Ms. Henry taught Ruby Bridges alone in a classroom.
Ms. Ruby Bridges went on to graduate from a de-segragated high school. She wrote two books about her experience as a child and she received the Carter G. Woodson Book Award for her work. In 1999, Ms. Bridges established the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and create change through education. In 2000, she was made an honorary Deputy Marshal in a ceremony in Washington D.C.
In 2006, Alameda Unfied School District named a new school on the west end of the city after Ms. Ruby Bridges to inspire and teach a new generation of students about her lifelong activism for racial equality. Every year on November 14th, students, staff, and teachers at Ruby Bridges Elementary honor Ms. Bridges and the courage she carried to walk through the doors of William Franz Elementary School in 1960.