Civil rights icon, Rockwell subject, coming to Northampton

  • Ruby Bridges, then and now. Credit Ruby Bridges/Facebook

Sunday, January 28, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — A woman who as a little girl helped integrate the New Orleans public schools, an event depicted in an iconic Norman Rockwell painting, is coming to Massachusetts.

Ruby Bridges is scheduled to speak at Smith College in Northampton on Friday (Feb. 2).

Bridges was 6 years old in 1960 when she was accompanied to school by U.S. marshals.

The landmark moment in the civil rights movement was immortalized in the Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.”

It depicts Bridges being escorted by four U.S. marshals, a splattered tomato and a racial epithet on the wall behind her.

It was also seen as a milestone in Rockwell’s career to more direct social commentary.

Bridges received the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001 and is the author of the 1999 memoir “Through My Eyes.”