EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE: Two icons of the civil rights era reunited in a replica of a New Orleans school room. Ruby Bridges Hall desegregated the New Orleans public schools in 1960. Walking her to school everyday were a team of United States Marshals. The surviving Marshal is a Hoosier, Charles Burks. He and Bridges were reunited in a special event at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
The event commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Ruby Bridges Hall, who now runs a foundation and speaks with children around the nation and the world about the civil rights movement than and now, wanted to reunite with one of her marshal protectors to share their story together with a new generation of children. “I wish there were enough marshals to walk with every child as they face hatred and racism today, and to support and encourage them the way these Federal Marshals did for me,” said Ruby Bridges.
Bridges feels strongly about the role children played in the Civil Rights Movement and wants to inspire today’s youth to have a cause and create a new movement of their own. The event was held at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ The Power of Children Exhibit. This is a permanent exhibit at the museum that portrays three children whose lives teach us about overcoming obstacles to make a difference in the world (Ruby Bridges, Anne Frank, and Ryan White). Charles Burks was one of four marshals who escorted Ruby Bridges to school in 1960. The lifelong Hoosier has often shared the admiration he felt for the brave little girl who, “marched to school like a little soldier.” Bridges, Burks and the other marshals were immortalized in a classic Norman Rockwell painting “The Problem We All Live With”, which captured the story of an innocent little girl being escorted to school by U.S. Federal Marshals twice her size as hateful mobs hurled racist comments and objects at them. Bridges and Burks spoke about their experiences at a special event and answered media questions. AM1310 The Light’s Afternoons with Amos broadcast live from this special event with living history. And was proud to share that conversation and dialogue with listeners and the community. Click the Arrow to Hear Exclusive Audio of Ruby Bridges and Charles Burks – Their Conversation. Runs 27 Minutes. ©2013 WTLC/Radio One