US

Civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges says US again divided by race and segregated schools

  • FILE - U.S. Deputy Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, in this November 1960, file photo. On Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 54 years later to the day when she first walked up the steps to the school, Bridges is scheduled to commemorate the event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness on the campus. (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - U.S. Deputy Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, in this November 1960, file photo. On Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 54 years later to the day when she first walked up the steps to the school, Bridges is scheduled to commemorate the event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness on the campus. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, file photo, Ruby Bridges, right, who integrated Louisiana schools in 1960 under escort from U.S. Marshals, meets with Charles Burks, who was one of those marshals, at the Indianapolis Children's Museum in Indianapolis. On Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 54 years later to the day when she first walked up the steps to William Frantz Elementary School, Bridges is scheduled to commemorate the event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness on the campus. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, file photo, Ruby Bridges, right, who integrated Louisiana schools in 1960 under escort from U.S. Marshals, meets with Charles Burks, who was one of those marshals, at the Indianapolis Children's Museum in Indianapolis. On Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 54 years later to the day when she first walked up the steps to William Frantz Elementary School, Bridges is scheduled to commemorate the event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness on the campus. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ruby Bridges speaks during in interview with the Associated Press in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The civil rights pioneer said America today looks a lot like the world she helped integrate 54 years ago: A nation with segregated schools and racial tension. On Nov. 14, 1960, Bridges, then 6 years old, became the first black student to attend a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans. On Friday, she commemorated that event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness at her old school and a reunion with the white teacher who taught her and with the sole-surviving U.S. marshal who walked her to school. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

    Ruby Bridges speaks during in interview with the Associated Press in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The civil rights pioneer said America today looks a lot like the world she helped integrate 54 years ago: A nation with segregated schools and racial tension. On Nov. 14, 1960, Bridges, then 6 years old, became the first black student to attend a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans. On Friday, she commemorated that event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness at her old school and a reunion with the white teacher who taught her and with the sole-surviving U.S. marshal who walked her to school. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)  (The Associated Press)

Civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges says America today looks a lot like the world she helped integrate 54 years ago: A nation with segregated schools and racial tension.

On Nov. 14, 1960, Bridges — then 6 years old — became the first black student to attend a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans. On Friday, she commemorates that event with the unveiling of a statue in her likeness at her old school and a reunion with the white teacher who taught her and with the sole-surviving U.S. marshal who walked her to school.

She says racism remains painfully real. She points to events in Ferguson, Missouri, revelations about racist comments made by owners in the National Basketball Association and how so many schools have failed to become racially mixed.