You’ve seen the iconic image of her by Norman Rockwell — the 1964 painting titled The Problem We All Live With — in which a small Black girl in a white dress is dwarfed by the four deputy U.S. marshals escorting her to school. Now Ruby Bridges tells her story of being that 6-year-old child in 1960 and entering the newly desegregated public school system in New Orleans. Using Your Voice for Racial Justice with Ruby Bridges is the first of a four-month listening series that is part of United Way of Lane County’s launch of its Racial Justice Fund, and it aims to inspire hope and resilience on Oct. 28 to Lane County school students and the general public in the ongoing fight for racial equity. Bridges, the oldest of five children, was the first Black child to enter William Frantz Elementary School. White parents pulled their children from the school, and only one teacher, Barbara Henry, agreed to teach her. Bridges and her family persevered, and today she chairs the Ruby Bridges Foundation. Its goal is to promote “the values of tolerance, respect and appreciation of all differences.”
The Lane County virtual student-only portion of “Using Your Voice for Racial Justice with Ruby Bridges” is 10 am Thursday, Oct. 28. FREE. Bridges speaks again that day at a virtual public event, hosted by local community leader and co-chair of United Way’s Racial Justice Fund Marieke (Mo) Young, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. $10. Register for the event at UnitedWayLane.org/ruby.
This article has been updated