On May 17, 1954, racial segregation of public schools was declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. The following year, African American parents in New Orleans sued the Orleans Parish School Board for its failure to comply with the Court’s ruling. In February of 1956, the board was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge J. Skelly Wright to desegregate the city’s schools.
For the next four years, the school board and state legislators defied the federal court’s order. On May 16, 1960, Judge Wright issued a federal order demanding gradual desegregation of schools, starting with first grade classes. The desegregation plan adopted required African American students to apply for transfer to all-white schools. Out of 137 applications from first grade students, only five were accepted, and only four agreed to attend. This episode of Moments in Civil Rights History shares the story of one of those four first-graders, six-year-old Ruby Bridges.
Hosted by the late D’Army Bailey, Moments in Civil Rights History is produced in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative and is part of Comcast NBCUniversal’s “His Dream, Our Stories” project. Visit http://www.HisDreamOurStories.com for more Civil Rights History, first-hand accounts from those who led, participate in or benefited from the Movement, or to share a civil rights story of your own (or that of a loved one).
via Youtube Channel