Lessons through art

Students learn about Ruby Bridges and history of segregation


Andres Sanchez

Students begin working on their paintings during the Ruby Bridges Paint Party in the Intercultural Exchange at the Truax Campus to kick off Black History Month activities.

Lauren Taillon, Arts Editor

In honor of Black History Month, the Intercultural Exchange sponsored the Ruby Bridges Paint Event. The event was held in room C1430 at Truax campus and was led by Wine and Design paint instructors. 

Students who attended the event got to hear the powerful story behind Norman Rockwell’s famous painting of Ruby Bridges while they tried to replicate the piece of art.  

“This event served two purposes: to destress and to relax, but also to remember that Ruby Bridges was part of the history of desegregation in Louisiana,” said Senior Student Program Advisor, and event coordinator, Ro Encizo.  

The painting called, “The Problem We All Live With,” depicts Ruby Bridges, a 6-year-old African American girl, walking through the streets of New Orleans in 1960. 

She is accompanied by four deputy U.S. Marshals who are escorting her to an all-white school at a time where there was a desegregation crisis going on with New Orlean’s schools. 

In the painting, you see tomato splatters and racial slurs on the side of a building that Ruby is walking by. This depicts the real event that Ruby had to go through on her first day of school.  

While the story is a sad one, it’s an important one to acknowledge and remember. Not just because of the injustices that happened not long ago, but also because the painting represents empowerment and overcoming adversity.  

“I selected the subject matter to paint, but the artwork was commissioned. This is to connect the month’s theme of Black Women Empowerment with Madison College as a whole,” said Encizo.