Throughout my life, my prayers have actively sustained me - held me up, carried me through.
Administrations and administrative faculty work very hard to see that schools are diverse as much as possible.
What we, as African Americans, stood on was our faith.
We as African Americans knew that if we wanted to see change, we had to step up to the plate and make that change ourselves. Not everyone comes to that realization in their lives, but thank God Linda Brown's father felt that way.
I like to share my story with children, and they are amazed by the story.
When I think about our babies today and them not being safe in school, I think that should be the next civil rights movement, you know, is to ban the assault weapons so that our babies can be safe.
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.
Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn - and only from us.
The mission of the Ruby Bridges Foundation is to create educational opportunities like science camp that allow children from different racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds to build lasting relationships.
You cannot look at a person and tell whether they're good or bad.
It's not who you're going to sit beside at school that matters now: it's what resources will your school have.
What I do remember about first grade and that year was that it was very lonely. I didn't have any friends, and I wasn't allowed to go to the cafeteria or play on the playground. What bothered me most was the loneliness in school every day.
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.
That's really what my work is all about - bringing kids together.
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.
My family - my mother and father had gone through such a hard time that by the time I graduated from sixth grade, they were separated.
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.
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.
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.
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.