Q:

What caused Ruby Bridges's death?

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Quick Answer

Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges is still alive, as of March 2015. Bridges made history when she became the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the United States.

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Full Answer

Bridges was one of a handful of African-American children who were selected to attend all-white schools in New Orleans, La. Of the children, she was the only one that was assigned to William Frantz Elementary School. Despite her father's reluctance for his daughter to attend the school, her mother was committed to her daughter helping to break down barriers. On November 14, 1960, Bridges was accompanied to school by U.S. marshals. As she entered the school, white parents took their children out of it.

Even though Bridges was enrolled and allowed to enter the building, she faced significant challenges. Due to the level of commotion surrounding her first day at school, she spent the first day in the principal's office with several adults. She was allowed into the classroom the next day, but all of the other children left. Barbara Henry, a recent teacher at the school, was the only one in the entire school willing to teach her. Bridges continues to live in New Orleans and is the head of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, whose goal is to promote tolerance.

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