Lucille Bridges, Mother of Civil Rights Icon Ruby Bridges, Dies at 86

In this July 20, 2006, file photo, Lucille Bridges poses next to the original 1964 Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With,” showing her daughter Ruby, inside the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. (STEVE UECKERT/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP)

Lucille Bridges, the mother of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, has died at the age of 86. In 1960, Bridges walked with her then-6-year-old daughter past crowds screaming racist slurs as Ruby became the first Black student at her all-white New Orleans elementary school.

On her Instagram account Tuesday evening, Ruby said, “Today our country lost a hero. Brave, progressive, a champion for change. 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.”

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

Her daughter went on to become an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, memorialized in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting “The Problem We All Live With” which depicts a tiny Ruby in a white dress carrying her notebooks and a ruler surrounded by much taller U.S. Marshals. But Ruby Bridges once credited her parents as the forces behind her history-making achievement.

Ruby Bridges, right, who integrated Louisiana schools in 1960 under escort from U.S. Marshals, poses with Charles Burks, 91, who was one of those marshals in front of a recreation of the school at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, in Indianapolis, on Thursday, September 5, 2013. (AP PHOTO/MICHAEL CONROY)

“My parents are the real heroes,” the U.S. Marshals Service once quoted her as saying during a ceremony at an art gallery showing the painting. “They (sent me to that public school) because they felt it was the right thing to do.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recognized Lucille Bridges’ contributions in a statement Tuesday night.

“Today we mourn the loss of one of the mothers of the Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans with the passing of Lucille Bridges — mother of five, including Ruby Bridges,” Cantrell said. “May she rest in God’s perfect peace.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: CBS News, The Associated Press

When you purchase a book below it supports the Number #1 Black Christian Newspaper BLACK CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK ONE (BCNN1.com) and it also allows us to spread the Gospel around the world.