Lucille Bridges, Mother Of Ruby Bridges, Dies At 86

Civil Rights activist Ruby Bridges announced the passing of her mother, Lucille Bridges in an Instagram post on Tuesday (November 10) evening. 

“Today our country lost a hero. Brave, progressive, a champion for change. She helped alter the course of so many lives by setting me out on my path as a six year old little girl,” her caption reads. 

“Our nation lost a Mother of the Civil Rights Movement today. And I lost my mom.” 

Lucille Bridges walked with 6-year-old Ruby into the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana everyday, according to the National Women’s History Museum. She was the first Black student to attend the school, ushering in desegregation in public schools. 

November 14, 2020 will mark 60 years since the mother-daughter duo first made the walk to the school. 

Ruby was born in Tylertown, Mississippi to Abon and Lucille Bridges in 1954, the same year the landmark Brown v. The Board of Education effectively abolished segregation in public schools.

The National Women’s History Museum says Ruby’s father was reluctant at first to send his first grader to the school after the NAACP asked, but Lucille Bridges was resolute in getting her daughter an education she did not have the chance to receive. 

New Orleans’ mayor LaToya Cantrell honored Lucille Bridges’ actions in a statement, “Lucille’s strength was unbounded during this period. Lucille insisted, seeing the action as an opportunity to help all Black children.”

Ruby’s actions, with her mother’s guidance and support, led her to become an icon. Her bravery was captured forever in Normal Rockwell’s renowned painting, “The Problem We All Live With.”

Photo: Getty Images 

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