Celebrities are speaking out and coming forward in droves as the Black Lives Matter movement protests push forward. Some have taken to the streets, others have donated money, many just put up black boxes online to show their support, and Selena Gomez has been turning over her social media pages to socio-political influencers and historical figures. Recently, Gomez handed over the reins of her Instagram account to Run the Jewels rapper and political activist Killer Mike, and now she’s given authority to Ruby Bridges.
If the name “Ruby Bridges” sounds familiar, it should. Her name was etched in American history after she became the first Black child to desegregate a White elementary school in New Orleans, Lousiana, in 1960. She was just six-years-old when she was escorted in and out of the school by federal marshalls, and she faced backlash, discrimination, racism, and hatred from White adults who didn’t want to see Black people learning alongside their children. She was also the inspiration behind Norman Rockwell’s painting, The Problem We All Live With.
Ruby Bridges, 65, has lived a life as an activist and author, and recently Selena Gomez invited Bridges to occupy her social media space in an effort to educate the singer’s 180 million followers. “I just want to take a moment to thank Selena for this amazing opportunity to speak to you directly,” Ruby said in a video. “The footage that I want to share with you today has not been shown before now. It is footage from 1960, the day that I entered first grade here in New Orleans.” The video showed White parents with their children following Ruby to school as they intimated her. Interviews were done where people openly called black people the n-word and the police described themselves as “misunderstood.”
Watch Ruby Bridges speak about her experience and highlight the journey of young Daisy Gabriel’s family, as well.
Photo Attribution: By JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US – Ruby Bridges, CC BY 2.0