Lucille Bridges, Mother Of Civil Rights Activist Ruby Bridges, Passes Away At 86

In efforts to desegregate the South, she walked with her daughter while she broke the school color barrier in New Orleans.

Lucille Bridges, the mother of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, has reportedly passed away.

Via her Instagram account, Ruby announced the news, labeling her mother “a champion for change.”

“Today our country lost a hero. Brave, progressive, a champion for change,” wrote Ruby in a Tuesday evening (November 10) post. She helped alter the course of so many lives by setting me out on my path as a six-year-old little girl. Our nation lost a Mother of the Civil Rights Movement today. And I lost my mom. I love you and am grateful for you. May you Rest In Peace.”

In 1960, Lucille Bridges walked a then-six-year-old Ruby past screaming crowds who gathered outside of her all-white New Orleans elementary school. These people spat racist slurs at the young child as she became the first Black student to desegregate a school in the state of Louisiana.

Bridges gave birth to Ruby in Tylertown, Mississippi, in 1954, which was the same year as the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision that ended racial segregation in schools.

RELATED: Outrageous Cartoon Depicting Betsy DeVos As Ruby Bridges Slammed With Reactions Of Absolute Disgust

Ruby later became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement and was memorialized in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We All Live With.” It depicts a young Ruby in a white dress carrying her notebooks and a ruler surrounded by much bigger U.S. Marshals. 

More recently, the Rockwell painting got an update online as it was adapted to depict Vice President-elect Kamala Harris walking alongside Ruby. On Saturday (November 7), Harris became the first Black woman elected vice president.

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