80 Ruby Bridges Quotes on Racism and Education

These Ruby Bridges quotes will inspire you to love and appreciate people from all walks of life, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Ruby Bridges was six years old when she enrolled in an all-white school in 1960. She faced a barrage of rejections, but she never gave up. Her commitment and determination continue to encourage everyone to accept desegregated education. 

Racism is a significant issue that manifests itself in many ways. Let us put an end to prejudice and teach our children about equality and compassion for one another. We’ve collected these quotes to inspire you to love yourself and be proud of your race.

Start reading here.

And make sure to check out these Harriet Tubman quotes.

Best Ruby Bridges Quotes

1. “A lot of my strength came from my upbringing.”

2. “Racism is a grown-up disease, and we should stop using our kids to spread it.”

3. “I believe it doesn’t do yourself any good to hate.”

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

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

6. “Racism is a form of hate. We pass it on to our young people. When we do that, we are robbing children of their innocence.”

7. “Good and evil come in all shades and colors. Evil is not prejudiced, evil just needs an opportunity to work through you.”

8. “Kids come into the world with clean hearts, fresh starts.”

9. “You cannot look at a person and tell whether they’re good or bad.”

10. “Racism is something that we, as adults, have kept alive.”

11. “Each and every one of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism.”

12. “The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round.”

13. “I believe that we have to come together, and we have to rely on the goodness of each other.”

14. “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.”

15. “Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength, and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!”

Famous Ruby Bridges Quotes

16. “I felt like there was something I needed to do―speaking to kids and sharing my story with them and helping them understand racism has no place in the minds and hearts of children.”

17. “We must absolutely take care of one another.”

18. “I do think that some people are born as old souls.”

19. “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.”

20. “All of us, no matter what we look like, we all have a common enemy, and that is evil. If we don’t understand that and come together, then evil will win.”

21. “I wanted to use my experience to teach kids that racism has no place in hearts and minds.”

22. “History is sacred. For me, history is a foundation and the truth.”

23. “I want to inspire kids.”

24. “I’m very proud that my parents happened to be people who did. They were not privileged to have a formal education.”

25. “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.”

26. “Somehow, it always worked. Kneeling at the side of my bed and talking to the Lord made everything okay.”

27. “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.”

28. “My mother and our pastor always said you have to pray for your enemies and people who do you wrong, and that’s what I did.”

29. “I think that racism is ugly and so unfair, and I believe that we all need one another.”

30. “When everyone in the neighborhood was over at my house congratulating my family on me passing the test, I thought they were congratulating me because I passed a test to go to college straight from kindergarten because I was so smart.”

Motivational Ruby Bridges Quotes to Keep You Moving Forward

31. “I believe in my prayers.”

32. “That first morning I remember mom saying as I got dressed in my new outfit, ‘Now, I want you to behave yourself today, Ruby, and don’t be afraid. There might be a lot of people outside this new school, but I’ll be with you.’”

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

34. “In order to truly make lasting positive change—to keep Dr. King’s dream moving forward—we need to think big and act big.”

35. “I’ve been told that my ideas are grandiose. Yes, they are. However, so were the ideas that marched me through screaming crowds and up the stairs of William Frantz Elementary more than 50 years ago.”

36. “I pray for my enemies, that God would forgive them.”

37. “Throughout my life, my prayers have actively sustained me—held me up, carried me through.”

38. “What we, as African Americans, stood on was our faith.”

39. “I like to share my story with children, and they are amazed by the story.”

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

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

42. “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.’”

43. “I was the first Black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960.”

Ruby Bridges Quotes on Racism and Inequality

44. “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.”

45. “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.”

46. “What bothered me most was the loneliness in school every day.”

47. “When the scary subject of race is finally broached, kids want to talk and talk. It’s very satisfying.”

48. “It’s taken me a long time to own the early part of my life.”

49. “If we’re gonna get past our racial differences, it’s gonna come from our kids, but they have to be together to do that.”

50. “I remember what it was like at age six, not really understanding what was going on around me, but having all these grown-up thoughts running through my head about what I was facing, why this was happening.”

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

52. “I then realized that it wasn’t Mardi Gras or college, it was about me going to school there. I wasn’t mad at the boy because he said his mother said not to play with me because I was a nigger. ‘If my mother said not to play with him because he was another race, I wouldn’t.’”

Wise Ruby Bridges Quotes on the Importance of Education

53. “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.”

54. “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.”

55. “The funny part about the test was that six children passed it to go to the all-white schools, but none of them were boys, it was all girls. Later my parents found out that the two other girls in my district had been taken out by their parents because they thought it was going to be a bad idea. I was going to William Frantz alone.”

56. “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.”

57. “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.”

58. “There are all kinds of monuments to adults—usually dead and usually white. But we don’t often lift up the extraordinary work of children.”

59. “I had never seen a White teacher before, but Mrs. Henry was the nicest teacher I ever had.”

60. “Wisdom is a gift but has nothing to do with age. That was probably the case with me.”

61. “Administrations and administrative faculty work very hard to see that schools are diverse as much as possible.”

62. “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.”

63. “Schools should be diverse if we are to get past racial differences.”

64. “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 Quotes That Talk About Civil Rights

65. “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.”

66. “It’s not who you’re going to sit beside at school that matters now; it’s what resources will your school have.”

67. “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.”

68. “I remember the first time seeing myself on TV when my family was watching the documentary ‘Eyes on the Prize’ for the first time. There were pictures of people going up the school stairs, and Mom said, ‘Oh, that’s you!’ I said, ‘I can’t believe this. This is important.’”

69. “If we are about what is good today, then we that are good, need to come together to fight what’s bad out there.”

Profound Ruby Bridges Quotes About Family

70. “If my mama said not to do something, I didn’t do it.”

71. “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.”

72. “Now that I’m a parent, I know that my parents were incredibly brave.”

73. “As African-Americans, people of that generation felt pretty much, if they were going to see changes in the world, they had to make sacrifices and step up to the plate.”

74. “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.”

75. “The person that impacted my life the most would have to have been my father because he shaped me into who I am today.”

More Ruby Bridges Quotes 

76. “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.”

77. “I’m not a very public person.”

78. “I’m the mother of four.”

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

80. “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.”

Have You Experienced Any Form of Racism Before?

Ruby Bridges was the first Black child to attend the all-white elementary school in Louisiana. It’s not easy for her to make this sacrifice, but for a more significant cause, her family decided to let her attend school in 1960.

For a young child, it was simply a matter of going to school and meeting other kids. But even as a young child, she urged people to stop racism in America by going through this action.

No one is inferior or superior to the other. Hatred will never bring us any good. We hope these Ruby Bridge quotes were able to encourage you to be brave and have compassion for other people.

Which Ruby Bridge quotes are your favorites? Please, drop them in the comments area below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.