Ruby Bridges was only six years old when she became the first African-American child to attend an all-white school in the American South, specifically, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruby was born on Sept. 8, 1954, and she first attended the William Frantz School on Nov. 14, 1960.
Although Ruby was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, her family relocated to New Orleans when she was 4 to seek a better standard of living in a big city. Ruby was born during the Supreme Court's decision on desegregation, so when Ruby was in kindergarten, she was chosen to take a test that would determine whether or not she could attend an all-white school. Even though it was rumored that the test was deliberately written so it would be difficult to pass, Ruby was one of six African-American children who succeeded in passing the test.
Ruby's father was hesitant to allow her to attend an all-white school from fear that she would come to physical harm, and the Louisiana State Legislature placed as many roadblocks as they could in her way. Regardless, Ruby and her mother finally entered Ruby's new school accompanied by federal marshals.
However, Ruby was immediately ostracized and only one teacher, Barbara Henry, would teach her. Ruby was harassed, threatened and abused, but in the end, she persevered.