May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Ruby Bridges Visits SAR Academy

Earlier this week, students in grades two through six had the unique opportunity to welcome Civil Rights hero Ruby Bridges to SAR! Though Bridges was only 6 years old in 1960 when she became the first African American child to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, this act of profound courage made her a national symbol in the movement’s fight for justice and racial equality. She has spent much of her life since then advocating for human rights and social justice, and continues to inspire children with messages of tolerance and respect for differences. It was a privilege for the SAR students to be in the midst of living history.

Fourth graders Jackson Feit and Rena Wachsman reflected on their experience: “When we found out that Ruby Bridges was coming to SAR, we were so excited to hear her story. We were bubbling with enthusiasm when the day finally arrived. She shared a lot of details from the Civil Rights Movement from her perspective. For example, when the Supreme Court ordered schools to integrate, Louisiana made kids take a test to be able to go to white schools and rigged the test so that all the children would fail, but Ruby passed! When she found out that she did well and would be starting a new school, she thought she was going straight from first grade to college! Another thing Ruby told us was that when she got older and came across other stories, she realized that the problems of the time were not about all whites versus all blacks. There were many different people working together to change unfair laws at that time. One of the messages she shared with us was to always fight for what you believe in. She also reminded us how important it is not to judge someone from how they look on the outside, but from who they are on the inside. While walking away from the presentation, we realized how lucky we are to live in a world without segregation. We were also thinking about how lucky we were to actually meet Ruby Bridges in person.”

In highlighting the unique role that young people played during the Civil Rights Movement, Ruby Bridges reminded the students of the extraordinary power children have to assert their voice and effect change today in an effort to make our world a better place.

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