Can you imagine going to the first day of school to find 500 kids taken home by their parents — because of you? That's what happened to a 6-year-old girl who had no idea of the hate and ignorance surrounding her at the time.Ruby Bridges was the first African-American to attend a white elementary school in 1960 in New Orleans. She made history that day — but all she knew was that she was starting a new day of school and that she should make some new friends.
This is episode 5 of "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr." It airs Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. The episode examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable.