Lucille Bridges, woman who wallked her daughter past angry crowd as she became the first Black student in all-white school, Dies at 86

Lucille Bridges death has been announced by her daughter Ruby Bridges on Tuesday evening, November 10.

The mother of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, who walked with her then-6-year-old daughter past crowds screaming racist slurs as she became the first Black student at her all-white New Orleans elementary school, has died at the age of 86.

Lucille insisted, seeing the action as an opportunity to help all Black children, and walked Ruby, with federal marshals, past chanting and taunting white protesters and to the schoolhouse. Mother and daughter both revealed their character and courage.”

Though Bridges was born to sharecroppers in Mississippi and did not finish an elementary school education. But she was determined for her daughter to pursue the same opportunities that her white peers received.

Her  daughter Ruby Bridges wrote on her Instagram page, “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. Our nation lost a Mother of the Civil Rights Movement today. And I lost my mom. I love you and am grateful for you. May you Rest In Peace.”

Ruby Bridges went on to become an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, memorialized in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We All Live With” which depicts a tiny Ruby in a white dress carrying her notebooks and a ruler surrounded by much taller U.S. Marshals.

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Bridges gave birth to Ruby in Tylertown, Mississippi, in 1954, the same year as the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision that ended racial segregation in schools

Mayor LaToya Cantrell paid tribute to Lucille Bridges on Tuesday night, saying: “Today we mourn the loss of one of the mothers of the Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans with the passing of Lucille Bridges — mother of five, including Ruby Bridges. May she rest in God’s perfect peace.”

 

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