William Frantz Elementary School, school of Ruby Bridges
William Frantz Elementary as of 2010
Norman Rockwell's The Problem We Face
US Marshals escorting Ruby Bridges home after school
The Ruby Bridges statue found on school grounds
Ruby Bridges with Mrs. Barbara Henry. Ruby was Mrs. Henry's student at William Frantz for a time.
Backstory and Context
The court-ordered first day of integrated schools in New Orleans, November 14, 1960, was commemorated by Norman Rockwell in the painting The Problem We All Live With. As Bridges describes it, "Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras."2 Former United States Deputy Marshal Charles Burks later recalled, "She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we're all very very proud of her."3
In 2005 New Orleans Public Schools was considering closing Frantz. Hurricane Katrina, which occurred that year, damaged the building. After it was restored, it began hosting the charter school Akili.
2.Hunter-Gault, Charlayne. "A Class of One: A Conversation with Ruby Bridges Hall," Online NewsHour, February 18, 1997
3.Susannah Abbey. Freedom Hero: Ruby Bridges
"New Ruby Bridges statue inspires students, community". NOLA.com.
Bridges Hall, Ruby. Through My Eyes, Scholastic Press, 1999.
Coles, Robert. The Story of Ruby Bridges, Scholastic Press, 1995