85 Ruby Bridges Quotes from American Civil Rights Activist

Ruby Nell Bridges-Hall, born September 8, 1954, emerged as a civil rights symbol at six, being the youngest African American integrating schools in the American South.

Born impoverished in Mississippi, her family relocated to New Orleans where she was selected to attend an all-white elementary school after passing a qualifying test.

Despite confrontations and her father’s initial reluctance, her mother’s persuasion allowed enrollment.

Encountering protests, she was taught separately by Barbara Henry for a year.

Bridges’s experience, encapsulating threats and isolation, inspired art, books and her activism, emphasizing education, tolerance and unity, as embodied in her foundation established in 1999.

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges started The Ruby Bridges Foundation in order to promote tolerance and create change by means of education.

Here are some of the most powerful quotes by Ruby Bridges.

Best Ruby Bridges Quotes


It’s taken me a long time to own the early part of my life. ~ Ruby Bridges.


What bothered me most was the loneliness in school every day. ~ Ruby Bridges.


That’s really what my work is all about – bringing kids together. ~ Ruby Bridges.


You cannot look at a person and tell whether they’re good or bad. ~ Ruby Bridges.


I like to share my story with children, and they are amazed by the story. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Wisdom is a gift but has nothing to do with age. That was probably the case with me. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I had never seen a White teacher before, but Mrs. Henry was the nicest teacher I ever had. ~ Ruby Bridges.


I do think that some people are born as old souls. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I wish there were enough marshals to walk with every child as they faced the hatred and racism today, and to support, encourage them the way these federal marshals did for me. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I remember what it was like at age six, not really understanding what was going on around me, but having all these grown-up thoughts running through my head about what I was facing, why this was happening. ~ Ruby Bridges.


From age 7 to about 37, I had a normal life and not a very easy one. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Inspiring Ruby Bridges Quotes

We have tolerance, respect, and equality in our written laws but not in the hearts of some of our people. ~ Ruby Bridges.


I believe in my prayers. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I’m very proud that my parents happened to be people who did. They were not privileged to have a formal education. ~ Ruby Bridges.

The person that impacted my life the most would have to have been my father because he shaped me into who I am today. ~ Ruby Bridges.


If we are about what is good today, then we that are good, need to come together to fight what’s bad out there. ~ Ruby Bridges.

We as African Americans knew that if we wanted to see change, we had to step up to the plate and make that change ourselves. Not everyone comes to that realization in their lives, but thank God Linda Brown’s father felt that way. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I would dream that this coffin had wings, and it would fly around my bed at night, and so it was a dream that happened a lot, and that’s what frightened me. ~ Ruby Bridges.

If we’re gonna get past our racial differences, it’s gonna come from our kids, but they have to be together to do that. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Racism is something that we, as adults, have kept alive. ~ Ruby Bridges.

We may not all be equally guilty. But we are all equally responsible for building a decent and just society. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Motivational Ruby Bridges Quotes

If you really think about it, if we begin to teach history exactly the way that it happened – good, bad, ugly, no matter what. I believe that we’re going to find that we are closer, more connected than we are apart. ~ Ruby Bridges.

The funny part about the test was that six children passed it to go to the all-white schools, but none of them were boys, it was all girls. Later my parents found out that the two other girls in my district had been taken out by their parents because they thought it was going to be a bad idea. I was going to William Frantz alone. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I believe that we have to come together, and we have to rely on the goodness of each other. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Evil looks like you and I. I know what evil looks like, and I know that it comes in all shades and colors. ~ Ruby Bridges.

All of our schools should be good enough to attract a healthy racial mix, which, I believe, leads to the most effective learning for everybody. ~ Ruby Bridges.

My family – my mother and father – had gone through such a hard time that by the time I graduated from sixth grade, they were separated. ~ Ruby Bridges.

My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I’m not a very public person. ~ Ruby Bridges.


The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Schools should be diverse if we are to get past racial differences. ~ Ruby Bridges.

The people I passed every morning as I walked up the school’s steps were full of hate. They were white, but so was my teacher, who couldn’t have been more different from them. She was one of the most loving people I had ever known. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Famous Ruby Bridges Quotes

A lot of my strength came from my upbringing. ~ Ruby Bridges.

All of us, no matter what we look like, we all have a common enemy, and that is evil. If we don’t understand that and come together, then evil will win. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Kids come into the world with clean hearts, fresh starts. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Once my school was integrated, and I was there with White kids and a few Black kids, it really didn’t matter to us what we looked like. ~ Ruby Bridges.

We’d get these boxes of clothing in the mail, and my mom would say, ‘What makes you think all this is for you? You’ve got a sister right behind you.’ So then I realized, we’re all in this together. We have to help each other. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Please God, forgive these people because even if they say those mean things they don’t know what they’re doing. ~ Ruby Bridges.

It’s not who you’re going to sit beside at school that matters now; it’s what resources will your school have. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I’m the mother of four. ~ Ruby Bridges.


It looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds; he could think of nothing beautiful which it did not resemble. ~ Ruby Bridges.

In order to truly make lasting positive change – to keep Dr. King’s dream moving forward – we need to think big and act big. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Popular Ruby Bridges Quotes

When the scary subject of race is finally broached, kids want to talk and talk. It’s very satisfying. ~ Ruby Bridges.


I pray for my enemies, that God would forgive them. ~ Ruby Bridges.

The mission of the Ruby Bridges Foundation is to create educational opportunities like science camp that allow children from different racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds to build lasting relationships. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Good and evil come in all shades and colors. Evil is not prejudiced, evil just needs an opportunity to work through you. ~ Ruby Bridges.

My mother and our pastor always said you have to pray for your enemies and people who do you wrong, and that’s what I did. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I believe it doesn’t do yourself any good to hate. ~ Ruby Bridges.

My mother had taught me that the only thing you could depend on was your faith, and I had that. ~ Ruby Bridges.

When I think about our babies today and them not being safe in school, I think that should be the next civil rights movement, you know, is to ban the assault weapons so that our babies can be safe. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I never got the chance to meet Linda Brown; there were several times we were supposed to meet or be on the same stage together, but life gets in the way, and it never happened. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you! ~ Ruby Bridges.

I remember the first time seeing myself on TV when my family was watching the documentary ‘Eyes on the Prize’ for the first time. There were pictures of people going up the school stairs, and Mom said, ‘Oh, that’s you!’ I said, ‘I can’t believe this. This is important.’ ~ Ruby Bridges.


Kids know nothing about racism. They’re taught that by adults. ~ Ruby Bridges.

What I do remember about first grade and that year was that it was very lonely. I didn’t have any friends, and I wasn’t allowed to go to the cafeteria or play on the playground. ~ Ruby Bridges.

When everyone in the neighborhood was over at my house congratulating my family on me passing the test, I thought they were congratulating me because I passed a test to go to college straight from kindergarten because I was so smart. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Top Ruby Bridges Quotes

That first morning I remember mom saying as I got dressed in my new outfit, ‘Now, I want you to behave yourself today, Ruby, and don’t be afraid. There might be a lot of people outside this new school, but I’ll be with you.’ ~ Ruby Bridges.

I want to inspire kids. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Administrations and administrative faculty work very hard to see that schools are diverse as much as possible. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I’ve been told that my ideas are grandiose. Yes, they are. However, so were the ideas that marched me through screaming crowds and up the stairs of William Frantz Elementary more than 50 years ago. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Racism is a grown-up disease, and we should stop using our kids to spread it. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I remember turning onto the street. I saw barricades and police officers and, just, people everywhere. When I saw all of that, I immediately thought that it was Mardi Gras. I had no idea that they were here to keep me out of the school. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I felt like there was something I needed to do – speaking to kids and sharing my story with them and helping them understand racism has no place in the minds and hearts of children. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Somehow, it always worked. Kneeling at the side of my bed and talking to the Lord made everything okay. ~ Ruby Bridges.

History definitely should be taught the way it happened – good, bad or ugly. ~ Ruby Bridges.

We must absolutely take care of one another. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Wise Ruby Bridges Quotes

Racism is a form of hate. We pass it on to our young people. When we do that, we are robbing children of their innocence. ~ Ruby Bridges.

The greatest lesson I learned that year in Mrs. Henry’s class was the lesson Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to teach us all. ‘Never judge people by the color of their skin. God makes each of us unique in ways that go much deeper.’ ~ Ruby Bridges.

If kids have the opportunity to come together to get to know one another, they can judge for themselves who they want their friends to be. All children should have that choice. We, as adults, shouldn’t make those choices for children. That’s how racism starts. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I now know that experience comes to us for a purpose, and if we follow the guidance of the spirit within us, we will probably find that the purpose is a good one. ~ Ruby Bridges.


What we, as African Americans, stood on was our faith. ~ Ruby Bridges.

There are all kinds of monuments to adults – usually dead and usually white. But we don’t often lift up the extraordinary work of children. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Profound Ruby Bridges Quotes

Every day, I would show up, and there were no kids, just me and my teacher in my classroom. Every day, I would be escorted by marshals past a mob of people protesting and boycotting the school. This went on for a whole year. ~ Ruby Bridges.

Throughout my life, my prayers have actively sustained me – held me up, carried me through. ~ Ruby Bridges.

I think that racism is ugly and so unfair, and I believe that we all need one another. ~ Ruby Bridges.

None of our kids come into the world knowing anything about disliking one another. ~ Ruby Bridges.


Now that I’m a parent, I know that my parents were incredibly brave. ~ Ruby Bridges.

If my mama said not to do something, I didn’t do it. ~ Ruby Bridges.

So these were the 85 top quotes about Ruby Bridges.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Ted Engstrom quotes and Luke Bryan quotes.

Short Biography of Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges was a trailblazer in civil rights, breaking racial barriers at just six years old by becoming the first Black student at an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.


Her brave steps into William Frantz Elementary made history, celebrated in art and film.

Author of a bestseller and her autobiography, Ruby also founded a leadership program promoting diversity.

Full Name Ruby Nell Bridges
Born September 8, 1954 (age 69) Tylertown, Mississippi, U.S.
Education William Frantz Elementary School
Occupation(s) Philanthropist, activist
Role In American civil rights movement
Spouse Malcolm Hall (m. 1984)
Children Craig Hall, Sean Hall, Christopher Hall
Parents Lucille Bridges, Abon Bridges
Website www.rubybridges.com

She’s been honored with prestigious awards and honorary doctorates for her impactful work.

Quick Facts about Ruby Bridges

  • Ruby’s family moved from Mississippi to New Orleans for better opportunities.
  • She grew up with three siblings in a shared bedroom.
  • As a kid, Ruby loved jump rope, softball, and tree climbing.
  • Her first day at an all-white school seemed like Mardi Gras to her due to the commotion.
  • Ruby walked into school with bravery, never showing fear according to a marshal.
  • She formed a close bond with her teacher, Mrs. Henry, during her first year at the integrated school.
  • Financial support came from various people after her dad lost his job because of Ruby’s school integration.
  • Ruby spent 15 years working as a travel agent post-high school.
  • Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Problem We All Live With” commemorates Ruby’s school walk and was displayed in The White House.
  • President Obama met Ruby in 2011, acknowledging her role in history.
  • Ruby and Malcolm Hall married and have four sons.
  • A statue honoring Ruby was unveiled at the William Frantz School in 2014.
  • Ruby and Mrs. Henry reconnected later in life.
  • In 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded Ruby the Presidential Citizen’s Medal.
  • Ruby was the lone student at William Frantz Elementary on her first day.
  • Barbara Henry was the only teacher willing to teach Ruby, starting on day two.
  • “The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles tells Ruby’s inspiring story for children.
  • Ruby was among six kids to pass a challenging entrance test for school integration.
  • Ruby authored a children’s book, “Through My Eyes,” in 1999, sharing her experiences.
  • The song “Ruby’s Shoes” by Lori McKenna pays tribute to Ruby’s journey.
  • Ruby’s story is captured in a Rockwell painting, highlighted by Obama in 2011.

Top Questions about Ruby Bridges

How old is Ruby Bridges now?

As of 2024, Ruby Bridges is 69 years old.

What was Ruby Bridges’ profession?

Ruby Bridges worked as a travel agent, then became a stay-at-home mom. Later, she worked as a parent liaison at her former grade school and founded the Ruby Bridges Foundation.

Why is Ruby Bridges important?

Ruby Bridges is known for being the youngest of a group of African American students to integrate schools in the South at six years old. She was the sole black student at William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans in 1960.

What achievements did Ruby Bridges make?

Despite facing severe racism, Ruby Bridges attended school every day, eventually leading to more integrated classes the following year.

What made Ruby Bridges famous?

Ruby Bridges became famous from Norman Rockwell’s painting inspired by her courage, her memoir “Through My Eyes,” a children’s book, and a TV movie about her life.

What happened to Ruby Bridges at age 4?

At four, Ruby moved to New Orleans, and at six, she passed a test allowing her to attend an all-white elementary school.

Where is Ruby Bridges today?

Ruby Bridges still resides in New Orleans, running her foundation to support children in schools and advocating for education and integration.

Can you tell the story of Ruby Bridges?

At six, Ruby Bridges became the first African American child to attend an all-white public school in New Orleans, marking a historic moment in the civil rights movement.

Has Ruby Bridges received any awards?

Ruby Bridges has received several honors, including the Presidential Citizens Medal and recognitions from the city of Alameda, California, and the Anti-Defamation League.

Is the Ruby Bridges movie based on a true story?

Yes, the movie about Ruby Bridges is based on the true story of her life as the first Black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar