41 Most Encouraging Ruby Bridges Quotes

Ruby Bridges, in full Ruby Nell Bridges, born 8th September 1954, Tylertown Mississippi, U.S.A is an American activist who became a leader in the civil rights movements and at the age of six years, she was the youngest in a group of African American students to integrate schools in the southern part of America.

Ruby was born when the US Supreme court ended racial separation in schools. Her poor family had decided to settle in New Orleans in search of a better life. After several years, New Orleans conducted a test on all black children whose results would ensure that they enrolled in a white school if they passed. Bridges’ was among the six students who passed the test, but her parents were not sure whether to send her to an all-white school, fearing for her safety since white families did not welcome blacks.

No teacher was willing to teach Ruby Bridges except for  Barbara Henry, who decided to teach the young Ruby by herself for a whole year. Ruby eventually graduated from high school and pursued a career as a travel agent. Her bravery to attend an all-white school despite being black made her a hero amongst the entire black students.

Her struggles were portrayed in a painting by Norman Rockwell called “The Problem We All Live With” showing her walk to class as she was being escorted by the federal marshals and was carried as a symbol of civil rights movements. If you are looking for quotes to inspire you when you are in your darkest moments, these quotes by Ruby Bridges are the best motivation.

The Most Interesting Ruby Bridges Quotes

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

2. “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

3. “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

4. “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.”– RubyBridges

5. “Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn – and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.”– Ruby  Bridges

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6. “Kids know nothing about racism. They’re taught that by adults.”– Ruby Bridges

7. “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

8. “When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!”– Ruby Bridges

9. “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

10. “Evil isn’t prejudiced. It doesn’t care what you look like; it just wants a place to rest. It’s up to you whether you give it that place.”– Ruby Bridges

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

12. “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

13. “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

14. “I’ve seen schools in Detroit where the windows are broken, where there’s no heat, and children are sitting with their coats on in class in the middle of a snowstorm. I’ve also seen schools in California with Olympic-sized swimming pools and cafeterias like five-star restaurants.”– Ruby Bridges

15. “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

16. “I was the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960.”– Ruby Bridges

17. “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

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18. “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

19 “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

20. “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

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

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22. “Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”– Ruby Bridges

23. “Now that I’m a parent, I know that my parents were incredibly brave.”– Ruby Bridges

24. “Kids come into the world with clean hearts, fresh starts.”– Ruby Bridges

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

26. “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

27.” I was the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960.”– Ruby Bridges

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

29. “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

30. “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

31. “Never judge people by the color of their skin”– Ruby Bridges

32. “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

33. “History definitely should be taught the way it happened—good, bad or ugly.”– Ruby Bridges

34. “The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round.”– Ruby Bridges

35. “None of our kids come into the world knowing anything about disliking one another.”– Ruby Bridges

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

37. “We all have a common enemy, and it is evil.”– Ruby Bridges

38. “A lot of my strength came from my upbringing.”– Ruby Bridges

39. “Schools should be diverse if we are to get past racial differences.”– Ruby Bridges

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

41. “I believe it doesn’t do yourself any good to hate.”– Ruby Bridges

Also see quotes from Harper Lee

Ruby Bridges Fought Racism at 6 Years Old | Inspirational Documentary | Goalcast

At 6 years old, Ruby Bridges went to school in the protection of U.S. Marshals due to threats from white families who didn’t want a Black child attending school with their children.
her attending a formerly all white elementary school.

Ostracized by teachers & peers, Ruby soon realized she was the target of their hate simply for being born Black. Today, she speaks on the experience & the continued fight against anti-Black racism in America.


Ruby Bridges went against all odds and thrived in an all-white school despite being black and in an era when racism was at its prime. Every day as she was being escorted to school by the marshals, they urged her to only keep her eyes forward so that she would not hear the threats and insults on her by the angry racist crowds.

Bridges spoke about her youthful experiences to several groups and her memoir Through My Eyes was published in 1999, the same years she established the Bridges Foundation to use educational initiatives to promote unity and tolerance among school children.

The above quotes are highly encouraging on never giving up despite going through numerous hardships, just like Ruby Bridges endured and it later paid of.

Finally, be sure to see our Ibram X. Kendi quotes about racism and anti-racism

Image Credit: Uncredited DOJ photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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