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President Donald Trump proclaimed February as National African American History Monthand the Department of the Interior has led numerous events to celebrate African American heritage and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the month. From honoring leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Union soldiers in the Civil War to highlighting African American art and cultural sites, the Department shares our nation's rich history. See the list below that includes more ways to explore African American heritage sites around the country with more information provided online. We are tasked with protecting national treasures that honor and memorialize extraordinary African-American history.

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At the tender age of six, Ruby Bridges advanced the cause of civil rights in November when she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South.

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When Ruby was two years old, her parents moved their family to New Orleans, Louisiana in search of better work opportunities. Nonetheless, southern states continued to resist integration, and inRuby attended a segregated New Orleans kindergarten. A year later, however, a federal court ordered Louisiana to desegregate. The school district created entrance exams for African American students to see whether they could compete academically at the all-white school.

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Ruby and five other students passed the exam. Her parents were torn about whether to let her attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School, a few blocks from their home.

Meanwhile, the school district dragged its feet, delaying her admittance until November Two of the other students decided not to leave their school at all; the other three were sent to the all-white McDonough Elementary School. Ruby and her mother were escorted by four federal marshals to the school every day that year.

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She walked past crowds screaming vicious slurs at her. Undeterred, she later said she only became frightened when she saw a woman holding a black baby doll in a coffin. Ardent segregationists withdrew their children permanently. Barbara Henry, a white Boston native, was the only teacher willing to accept Ruby, and all year, she was a class of one.

Individuals and families

Ruby ate lunch alone and sometimes played with her teacher at recess, but she never missed a day of school that year. While some families supported her bravery — and some northerners sent money to aid her family — others protested throughout the city. The Bridges family suffered for their courage: Abon lost his job, and grocery stores refused to sell to Lucille. Her share-cropping grandparents were evicted from the farm where they had lived for a quarter-century. Ruby graduated from a desegregated high school, became a travel agent, married and had four sons.

She was reunited with her first teacher, Henry, in the mid s, and for a time the pair did speaking engagements together. Ruby later wrote about her early experiences in two books and received the Carter G. Woodson Book Award.

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A lifelong activist for racial equality, inRuby established The Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and create change through education. Inshe was made an honorary deputy marshal in a ceremony in Washington, DC. MLA - Michals, Debra.

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National Women's History Museum, Date accessed. Chicago - Michals, Debra.

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Ruby Bridges By Debra Michals, PhD Works Cited. Bridges, Ruby Nell. Accessed February 2, Marshals Service. Lambert, Laura J. Detroit: Gale, History in Context.

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Gale, How to Cite this. Additional Resources. Books: Bridges, Ruby.

Related biographies

I Am Ruby Bridges. New York : Scholastic Inc. Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes. New York : Scholastic Press, Related Biographies.

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Abrams is now one of the most prominent African American female politicians in the United States. Abigail Adams was an early advocate for women's rights. A progressive social reformer and activist, Jane Addams was on the frontline of the settlement house movement and was the first American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Famed author Louisa May Alcott created colorful relatable characters in 19th century novels. Related Background. Lesson Plan. Feminismo: La Primera Ola Durante generaciones, el movimiento feminista ha avanzado notablemente en la defensa de los derechos de las mujeres.

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