Ruby Bridges, who will celebrate her birthday on September 8, is an American civil rights activist and author of books for young people. As a six-year-old she made history entering first grade as the first African American student to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans. Because of the death threats Ruby received, President Eisenhower sent federal marshals to escort her into school. Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We All Live With” depicts six-year-old Ruby’s courage in the face of angry white protesters.
Now known as Ruby Bridges Hall, she works to promote tolerance and racial equality through education. She has been the subject of a Lori McKenna song, “Ruby’s Shoes,” and of a made-for-television movie and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton.
Ruby has written several books about her childhood, including her memoir, Through My Eyes, and two books for younger students: Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story and Let’s Read About Ruby Bridges.