Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ruby Bridges: The Fight for Educational Equality Continues

Nearly fifty years ago, Ruby Bridges made history by becoming the first African American student to desegregate an all-white public school in the South, chiefly New Orleans. She was escorted by four federal marshalls, as depicted in Norman Rockwell's famous portrait, "The Problem We All Live With." The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which found that "separate but equal" school facilities were unequal and unconstitutional, mandated the racial desegregation of public schools across the country. Today, with educational inequality across race and class still looming, Ruby Bridges wants to continue the fight for educational inequality:
The school that Bridges desegregated so many years ago has since fallen into disrepair, but she wants to reopen it with a focus on teaching social justice and history, and to open a civil rights museum next door. In a city where many of the schools once again have racially homogeneous student bodies, she wants to put a special emphasis on diversity.

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