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Ruby Bridges Meets with Obama

July 15, 2011  |  Press Releases


July 15, 2011


Todd Ragusa


Norman Rockwell Painting, “The Problem We All Live With,” Hung in the White House

WASHINGTON, DC – Ruby Bridges met with President Obama today to celebrate the hanging of the famous Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” Rockwell’s painting depicts six year old Ruby Bridges surrounded by federal marshals as she integrated William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans in 1960. The painting, which appeared in Look Magazine in 1964 and immediately became an important image of the Civil Rights Movement, was hung in the White House to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the integration of public elementary schools in the South.

“Since President Obama came into office, I have supported having the painting hung in the White House,” said Ruby Bridges. “It is the perfect symbol of how much we have accomplished in the last 50 years and a poignant reminder of how far we have left to go. It was a great honor to meet the president today, and it was an occasion that will live in my memory forever.”

Ms. Bridges was accompanied at the White House by her husband, Malcolm Hall, and her youngest son, Raeshad Hall. Representatives from the Norman Rockwell Museum, who loaned the painting to the White House through the end of October 2011, were also in attendance.

A reception is being held in the evening to gather supporters of the foundation.

“We are honored to celebrate this historic event,” said Tanya Lombard of AT&T Louisiana, a sponsor of the Ruby Bridges Foundation. “We are proud to support the Ruby Bridges Foundation and its work to help teach the next generation of leaders in Louisiana and across the country.”

Ms. Bridges founded the Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1998 with a mission to provide children with an equal opportunity to succeed. After the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Bridges and the foundation became more dedicated than ever to confronting the interlocking problems of poverty, racism and unequal educational opportunities. The foundation’s primary initiative is to create a school in the William Frantz Elementary building that will serve as a model for integration and equity in education. The Ruby Bridges School would educate leaders for the 21st century who are committed to social justice, community service, equality, racial healing and nonviolence.


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