Advocacy and Activism for Racial Equality

Advocacy and Activism for Racial Equality photo

Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges visited students at Northport High School to share her story on April 17. Mrs. Bridges was the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960, and has been a life-long activist for racial equality. Students had the opportunity to hear her firsthand experiences of living through that time in American history. The presentation began from the test she took to get into a white school at six years old, all the way through her present life.

“It’s extremely important for students to understand, especially in light of all that’s been happening in the past few years, how the era of civil rights relates to their lives now,” said Mrs. Bridges. “Racism is still alive and just as dangerous as it was back then, but most kids don’t even realize it.”

After the presentation, students were able to ask Mrs. Bridges questions, such as “What was the rest of your schooling like” and “How did you feel when you started to understand racial issues as a child?” Students were engaged and honored to listen and to meet Mrs. Bridges.

“Regardless of what happens to you, it’s important to take that experience and turn it into something positive,” said Mrs. Bridges. “Even though I went through a lot of hardship, I’m sharing my experiences to spread awareness to help extinguish the racism that’s present in our nation.”