Lucille Bridges, the mother of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, has died at the age of 86.
“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.” Ruby Bridges said
Ruby Bridges went on to become an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, memorialized in Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Problem We All Live With” which depicts a young Ruby in a white dress surrounded by much taller U.S. Marshals. Lucille Bridges walked with her then-6-year-old past crowds screaming racist slurs as she became the first Black student at her all-white school.
“My parents are the real heroes,” the U.S. Marshals she said “They (sent me to that public school) because they felt it was the right thing to do.”
The image of Ruby from the Norman Rockwell painting has renewed attention in recent days in an adapted version that shows Vice President-elect Kamala Harris walking alongside Ruby. Harris is the first Black woman elected to the vice presidency.
Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, recognized Lucille Bridges’ contributions in a statement.
“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.”
Photos by Getty Images